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No end in sight

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Oil prices that fell earlier this week do not necessarily signal lower gas prices at the pump for consumers.

In fact, the national average per gallon for regular unleaded was $4.06 &8212; a new record high in a year already plagued with them.

Light, sweet crude for July delivery rose back above $136 a barrel, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Nationwide, gas prices edged higher.

But the record prices haven&8217;t deterred travelers.

Gas prices in Demopolis ranged anywhere from $3.88 per gallon to $3.91 per gallon.

The per gallon price of gasoline didn&8217;t fall &8212; in fact it barely slowed its climb &8212; when oil priced dipped back to $131.55 a barrel earlier this week.

There was a reason for Richards&8217; anger: He was filling up his motor home to try to complete the last leg of his trip to Montgomery. He wouldn&8217;t say how much it cost, but the fill-up was &8220;more than three digits,&8221; Richards said.

And if consumers in the United states think the price of gas is bad, they should be thankful they&8217;re not living in western Europe. Consumers in France, Germany and Italy are contending with gasoline prices hovering around $9 a gallon.

Analysts say oil is range trading, waiting for direction from a significant move in the dollar or change in supply and demand fundamentals.

Many analysts believe the market&8217;s overall sentiment remains bullish, and that new records are a real possibility in coming days. Oil reached its latest trading record of $139.12 on Friday.

On Thursday, the dollar gained ground after the Commerce Department said retail sales rose in May by the biggest amount in six months as 57 million tax rebate checks reached consumers. The 15-nation euro fell to $1.5423 from $1.5571 late Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.