The retail price of diesel fuel edged up 2.7 cents last week to $2.652 per gallon, the highest price since Nov. 24, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The increase comes as the price of crude oil fell and the stock market took a hit on expectations that economic recovery is not a sure thing.
Crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Friday tumbled $3.01 to $67.51 per barrel and dropped another 91 cents to $66.60 per barrel on Monday. Stock prices also fell steeply on Monday as a low reading in consumer confidence rattled investors and stymied a five-month climb. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 165 points. The S&P 500 index fell 22 points. The Nasdaq composite lost 50 points. The S&P 500 had gained 50 percent since March.
Prior to the sudden falls on NYMEX and Wall Street, diesel climbed as much as 6 cents to $2.633 in the Rocky Mountains.
The highest prices were on the West Coast. Diesel rose 3 cents to $2.872 in California. Including Washington and Oregon, the price went up an average of 4.4 cents to $2.744 per gallon in the region.
The lowest price was an average $2.607 per gallon in the Gulf Coast, where diesel rose 2.6 cents.
The smallest gains were in the Midwest and the East Coast. Diesel rose 2.2 cents on average in both regions. Diesel stayed below average in the Midwest at $2.623 per gallon and rose above the nation’s average price in the East Coast at $2.687 per gallon.
Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at email@example.com.