Investor optimism pushes oil prices higher after holiday | News
Tampa, FL -- Oil prices rose last week after investors speculated that a substantial decrease in U.S. stockpiles of crude during the first week of July would mean increased fuel demand and the start of an economic rebound.
Crude stockpiles were projected to drop 2.5 million barrels in early July, boosting investor optimism which caused oil prices to settle Friday $1.26 more than the previous week at $96.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, according to AAA.
However, a recent report from the Department of Energy showed U.S. stockpiles dropped much less than initially projected at approximately 890,000 barrels the first week of July.
The Labor Department also released a report showing the U.S. added fewer jobs than forecast in June and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest level this year.
"Although optimism at the start of the month pushed oil and retail gas prices higher, the negative economic news will likely cause oil prices to lose any gains made last week,” said Jessica Brady, spokesperson, AAA Auto Club South. "Consumers will see an increase in gas prices this week as a result of crude oil closing higher than the previous week, but the increases should be short lived."
Average retail gasoline prices in Tampa rose 14.8 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.56/g yesterday. This compares with the national average that has increased 6.3 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.63/g, according to gasoline price website TampaGasPrices.com.
Including the change in gas prices in Tampa during the past week, prices yesterday were 98.2 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 0.8 cents per gallon lower than a month ago.
The national average has decreased 9.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 91.7 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.