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Oil rises; California pump prices highest since October 2008

Retail gasoline prices were on the rise in California and around the U.S. over the last week and crude oil traders appeared poised to test the $90-a-barrel level again Monday.

The commodity was on the rise again based on strong economic data out of China. But after posting a peak for the trading day of $89.49 a barrel, crude oil futures for January delivery eased back a bit, finishing the day up 82 cents to settle at $88.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Crude hit a 26-month high at $90.76 on Dec. 7, but the commodity hasn't traded above $90 a barrel on a regular basis since October of 2008.

You can find more on the Energy Department's weekly fuel price update here.

Meanwhile, pump prices for gasoline were closing in on the $3-a-gallon mark nationally, up over the last week by an average of 2.2 cents to $2.98 a gallon, according to the Energy Department's weekly telephone survey of filling stations around the U.S.

In California, the average climbed 3.4 cents over the last week to $3.25 a gallon. The California average is the highest the state has seen since Oct. 20, 2008, when prices stood at $3.355 a gallon.


--Ronald D. White

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