Business NewsLocal

Gas prices stalled by stock market fluctuations

Lee Herald Favicon 16A slackening stock market has stalled gas prices, at least for now, as oil prices tumbled along with stocks over the last week to lead to gas prices falling on a weekly basis for the first time in 2018, the American Automobile Association says.

But the declines haven’t yet made their way to Southwest Florida.

On Tuesday, the average fill-up in Naples ran $2.68 per gallon, roughly on par with prices a week ago, but dipping slightly in recent days after flirting with $2.70. Still, the Naples area sees the second highest average fuel prices in the state, behind the West Palm Beach area.

In Lee County, there was also little movement, with Tuesday’s average still hovering near where it did last week, at $2.64 per gallon, just slightly above the state average of $2.63.

Nationally, however, prices have dipped by a few cents over the last week, to $2.57 per gallon on Tuesday.

So while they’ve gone down elsewhere, or stayed flat in Southwest Florida’s case, it’s meant they haven’t gone up any farther. But expect that to be a temporary trend.

“Gas prices have the potential to drop 10-15 cents, based on what happened last week,” said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “However, refinery maintenance season is fast approaching and could spoil this big break for motorists. Every year – from February to April – reduced refinery output and the switch to summer-blend gasoline normally causes gas prices to rise 30-70 cents. Additional drops in oil prices would help soften the impact maintenance season has on prices at the pump. Expect volatility at the pump as these forces collide.”

February’s gas prices so far this month have been the highest they’ve been in four years.

© 2018 Lee Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Show More

Leave a Review or Comment