Oil rises on euro gains; pump price at $3.59

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices leveled off in the Northeast, as the region's drivers hopped back in their cars after digging them out of huge snow banks over the weekend.

Pump prices fell slightly in New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut while holding steady in Massachusetts, Vermont and New York. A massive winter storm walloped the region with up to 3 feet of snow.

The national average rose again, however, as prices climbed in other parts of the country. The price in California gained a penny overnight and is now more than $4.05 a gallon. Just a month ago the state average was $3.63 a gallon.

The national average is now at $3.59, up from $3.31 a month ago.

Meanwhile, the price of oil rose more than $1 as the euro strengthened against the dollar. The euro rose to $1.3415 against the dollar from $1.3363 late Friday in New York.

A strong euro tends to result in higher oil prices by making crude priced in dollars cheaper — and a more enticing investment — for traders using currencies other than the greenback.

Benchmark oil gained $1.31 to finish at $97.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In London, Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, fell 77 cents to end at $118.13 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 4 cents to finish at $3.02 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose less than a cent to end at $3.28 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil gave up less than a penny to finish at $3.23 a gallon.

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Pablo Gorondi in Budapest contributed to this report.

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