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Gas Prices Drop Half a Cent Despite Global Tensions

From Associated Press

Gasoline prices edged down a fraction of a cent over the last two weeks, despite tensions in oil-producing regions such as the Middle East and South America.

Friday’s weighted price per gallon for all grades and taxes was about $1.46, down just over half a cent from two weeks earlier, according to the Lundberg survey of 8,000 gas stations nationwide.

The decrease--the first since Feb. 8--could be a sign that gasoline prices, which generally spike during the summer months, may have peaked, analyst Trilby Lundberg said Sunday.

“At the very least, the gasoline price hikes have been stalled,” Lundberg said. “And this is despite dramatic headlines out of two key oil-producing countries--Iraq and Venezuela.”

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Iraq has threatened to cut off oil shipments for a month to protest the Israeli military action in the West Bank. Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, survived a military coup attempt that lasted two days.

Despite some brief fluctuation, crude oil prices have remained steady, Lundberg said.

From Feb. 8 to April 7, gasoline prices jumped 32 cents. Prices remain more than 21 cents a gallon lower than they were at this time last year, when gas cost $1.67 per gallon.

The national weighted average price, including taxes, at self-serve pumps Friday was about $1.42 per gallon for regular, $1.52 for mid-grade and $1.61 for premium.

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