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Turmoil in Iraq pushing up U.S. gas prices

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NEW YORK (AP) — Violence in Iraq is pushing U.S. gasoline prices higher during a time of year they usually decline.

The national average price of $3.67 per gallon is the highest for this time of year since 2008, the year gasoline hit its all-time high.

The violence that erupted in Iraq last week hasn’t threatened the main oil-producing regions or reduced exports. Still, global markets reacted by sending the price of oil up 5 percent over the past week. So, instead of the usual slow slide in gasoline prices between Memorial Day and July 4, drivers have seen an increase.

The national average will likely soon surpass this year’s high of $3.70 per gallon, set on April 28, but analysts see little chance of it topping $3.90, as in 2011 and 2012.

According to AAA, the area average today for a gallon of gas is $3.46 in Hays and Junction City, $3.47 in Great Bend and Manhattan, $3.59 in Hutchinson and $3.40 in Salina.

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