Oil Rises Above $105; Pump Prices Jump To $3.55

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - The price of oil rose back above $105 Friday. Gasoline prices jumped the most since mid-February, unwelcome news for summertime drivers.

By late morning in New York, benchmark crude for August delivery was up 52 cents to $105.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Even with a drop of $1.60 a barrel Thursday, the price of oil is still up about 9 percent this month.

Drivers are seeing the impact. The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. rose 3 cents to $3.55 a gallon, the biggest one-day increase since Feb. 16, according to AAA. Prices rose 10 cents in both Indiana and Michigan.

The average price has gained 8 cents since Monday, reversing what had been a steady decline since the middle of June.

Fill-ups for summertime road trips could get even more expensive. Gasoline futures rose 9 cents, or 3 percent, Friday to $3.11, and have risen about 36 cents in July.

"It would not be surprising to see the national average rise another 10-15 cents per gallon as the effects of higher futures and wholesale prices reach consumers at the pump," wrote AAA spokesman Michael Green in an email.

Oil has risen from around $97 on July 1, mainly for two reasons. Traders are concerned that unrest in Egypt could affect oil shipments through the Suez Canal, a key shipping lane. And U.S. supplies of oil and gasoline have dropped dramatically in the past two weeks, signaling a rise in demand in the world's largest economy.

Brent crude was up 68 cents at $108.41 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

- Natural gas added 5 cents to $3.67 per 1,000 cubic feet.

- Heating oil advanced 3 cents to $3.03 a gallon.

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