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Oil down slightly; gasoline highest since June 10

Last Modified: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 11:48 AM NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline rose to the highest price in five weeks Tuesday as the recent spike in oil continues to filter down to the consumer level.
The average price for a gallon of gas rose 2 cents overnight to $3.635, the highest since June 10. That's 15 cents more expensive than a week ago and 24 cents more than drivers were paying at this time last year.
Oil is up about 10 percent so far this month. It has been jolted higher by unexpectedly sharp drops in U.S. crude and gasoline inventories, which suggest stronger demand. The military ouster in early July of Egypt's president has also added a premium to crude, reflecting the risk of supply disruption from political instability in a country that controls the Suez Canal.
On Tuesday the price of oil moved lower along with U.S. stock markets. By late morning, benchmark crude for August delivery was down 28 cents at $106.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The rise in gasoline futures this month has surpassed that of oil futures. As of Monday, wholesale gasoline futures had gone up 35 cents, or 13 percent, to $3.10 a gallon. The gain is showing up at the pump. The price of gas has risen this month is all but three states — Colorado, Idaho and Utah. Drivers in Indiana, Michigan and Ohio have seen prices jump by 35 cents or more on average.
This week's direction in oil and gasoline futures could be determined by fresh information on U.S. stockpiles.
Data for the week ending July 12 is expected to show a decline of 2.5 million barrels in crude oil stocks and no change in gasoline stocks, according to a survey of analysts by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
The American Petroleum Institute will release its report on oil stocks later Tuesday, while the report from the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration — the market benchmark — will be out on Wednesday.
If the market forecast is confirmed, it could bolster the case of those traders and analysts who believe oil will rise further because U.S. energy demand is rising in step with faster hiring.
In London, Brent crude was down 6 cents to $108.02 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
In other energy futures trading on Nymex:
— Wholesale gasoline was up a penny at $3.12 a gallon.
— Heating oil gained 1 cent to $3.04 a gallon.
— Natural gas rose 3 cents to $3.70 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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