The recent rise in oil prices is translating into higher prices at the pump.
The national average for a gallon of regular unleaded rose 2.1 cents to $2.747 a gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service. Oil has traded above $82 for two straight days. It was around $77 a week ago.
Motorists are paying about 2.3 cents more than a month ago and 18.6 cents more than a year ago.
Oil prices were lower Thursday. After dropping lower during European trading, they rallied somewhat on reports that contained good news on the U.S. jobs front before leveling off.
Benchmark crude for September delivery fell 19 cents to $82.36 a barrel in early trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price has been at levels not seen since May for three consecutive days despite ample supplies or oil in storage and weak demand for gasoline and other refined products.
Two jobs reports indicated Wednesday that the economy is growing but at a slow pace.
ADP, a payroll company, said private employers hired 42,000 workers last month, which was slightly better than analysts expected. The report can provide clues about what the Labor Department's monthly job report, due Friday, may show.
In addition, the Institute for Supply Management its service-sector index rose unexpectedly for July. A measure of hiring expectations for the sector, which accounts for the majority of U.S. workers, expanded in July for only the second time since December 2007.
In its weekly report, the Energy Department said U.S. commercial oil inventories fell by 2.8 million barrels to 358 million barrels for the week that ended July 30. The total remains 2.4 percent higher than a year ago.
Analysts had expected a drop of 1.2 million barrels for the week ended July 30, according to a survey by Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline inventories rose 700,000 barrels last week to 223 million barrels. Analysts expected a drop of 870,000 barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended July 30 was 2.3 percent higher than a year earlier, averaging nearly 9.4 million barrels a day.
Inventories of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 2.2 million barrels to 169.7 million barrels for the week ended July 30. Analysts expected distillate stocks to increase by 1.16 million barrels.
In other Nymex trading in September contracts, heating oil rose 0.17 cent to $2.2017 a gallon, gasoline lost 1.25 cent to $2.1810 a gallon and natural gas added 8.1 cents to 4.72 per 1,000 cubic feet.
In London, Brent crude fell 27 cents to $82.46 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.
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