R.I. gas prices down ahead of holiday travel

GAS prices in Rhode Island decreased for the fifth consecutive week on Monday, ahead of this weekend’s expected nearly 92 million travelers nationwide.
Posted 12/19/11

PROVIDENCE – Gasoline prices in Rhode Island decreased for the fifth consecutive week on Monday, ahead of this weekend’s expected nearly 92 million travelers nationwide.

According to AAA Southern New England, the average price of self-serve, unleaded regular at Ocean State stations was $3.34, down 5 cents from last week but 23 cents higher than a year ago.

The price in Rhode Island is 11 cents above the national average and 12 cents above prices at the pump in Massachusetts. The range at stations in the Ocean State was $3.20 to $3.50.

According to Bloomberg News, gasoline rose from a three-week low as European stocks gained on speculation governments will stem the region’s debt crisis.

Futures advanced 1 percent as the Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.6 percent at 9:31 a.m. in New York. Euro-area finance ministers are scheduled to hold a conference call Monday to discuss adding 200 billion euros ($261 billion) in additional funding through the International Monetary Fund to ease the region’s debt crisis.

“We’ve had some surprising strength in Europe today,” said Peter Beutel, president of trading advisory company Cameron Hanover in New Canaan, Conn. “We’re starting to see some light buying.”

Gasoline for January delivery rose 2.59 cents to $2.51 a gallon as of 9:52 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are up 2.4 percent this year, after gaining as much as 41 percent through April.

January-delivery heating oil gained 2.09 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $2.8214 a gallon. Prices are up 11 percent this year, Bloomberg said.

At stations in Rhode Island this week, the survey found average self-serve prices of $3.56 per gallon for midgrade unleaded, $3.70 for premium unleaded gasoline and $3.94 for diesel.

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