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WTI, Brent take big hits in Friday trading
by Daniel J. Graeber
New York (UPI) Oct 31, 2014

AAA: Gas to fall below $3 a gallon this weekend
Washington (UPI) Oct 31, 2014 - Motor club AAA said Friday it expects the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline to drop below $3 by the weekend.

AAA reports a national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline at $3.003. An abundance of oil supplies, coupled with lower demand, is keeping prices lower despite tensions overseas.

AAA said the national average price for gas will drop below the $3-a-gallon mark on Saturday, the first time prices will drop below that threshold in nearly four years.

"Overall, gas prices may remain relatively low this winter and could continue to drop another 5-15 cents per gallon in the near term as gas stations catch up with the steep declines in the wholesale market," the motor club said in a statement released to UPI.

Nearly two dozen states are reporting an average price below the $3 mark as of Friday.

AAA says it expects prices at the pump to continue to drop in the near term, though there's a limit as to how low then can fall.

"Paying less than $3 for gas is a welcome holiday gift that may not last nearly as long as many would hope," AAA Chief Executive Officer Bob Darbelnet said in a statement. "It is possible that lower gas prices will soon be a faded memory, so enjoy it while you can. "

Brent and West Texas Intermediate prices suffered heavy losses in Friday trading, ending a week that saw some early optimism resurface for the oil market.

WTI dipped briefly below the $80 threshold in Monday trading, with Brent moving in parallel. Early price movements were a reflection of a grim forecast about futures contracts from Goldman Sachs, which trumped the optimism that greeted a European Central Bank stress test concluding durability in the face of further financial strain.

By Tuesday, some traction had emerged following upbeat earnings reports for energy companies that said they were coping with the bear market for crude oil.

By Friday, both indices suffered losses, with WTI and Brent both shedding more than $1 to trade at $79.96 and $84.76 per barrel, respectively.

Indices during the latter half of the week struggled to find a consensus after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced an end to the stimulus package known as quantitative easing. On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department reported U.S. consumer spending was down for the first time since January.

Long-term contracts show WTI hovering around $79 per barrel, before recovering by mid-2015. For Brent, there are few signs of a rebound above the $90 mark.


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Madrid (AFP) Oct 31, 2014
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