Oil prices hit record high - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Oil prices hit record high

NEW YORK - Oil prices have shot up more than $10 to a new record above $138 a barrel after a Morgan Stanley analyst predicted prices could hit $150 by the Fourth of July. Traders have also been rattled by rising tensions in the Middle East.

The meteoric surge builds on a huge jump on Thursday and sets the stage for the biggest two-day gain in the history of the New York Mercantile Exchange. A further weakening of the dollar helped keep prices high.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery jumped as high as $138.36 on the Nymex, then eased to $137.81, up $10.02.

Retail gas prices
Gas prices have risen to record levels in the past year on the back of record oil prices. The price of crude has more than doubled in the past year.

AAA reported Friday that the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell to $3.986, down 0.3 cent from the previous day's record high of $3.989. Prices at the pump had hit records for 28 of the past 29 days before Friday.

Consumers should expect gas prices to stay at high levels, adding as much as a nickel or a dime in the next couple of weeks, if oil prices continue to march higher, said Flynn.

The AAA survey shows gas prices are up more than 10% from a month ago and more than 27% higher from year-ago levels.

A government supply report released Wednesday said that gasoline demand slackened over the week including Memorial Day, showing that consumers have cut back on their driving in the face of record high gas prices.

The average price for gas has passed the $4 a gallon mark in 12 states, as well as in Washington, D.C. Those states where gas has already passed the $4 include Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and West Virginia.

The most expensive state for buying gas is California, where a gallon of regular unleaded costs an average of $4.398 according to AAA. The second most expensive state is Alaska, where a gallon of gas costs $4.299.

The least expensive state for purchasing gas is South Carolina, where a gallon costs $3.787 a gallon on average. The second least expensive state for gas is Missouri, where a gallon runs $3.788 a gallon. 

(The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report.)

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