NEW YORK - Gasoline and oil prices extended their record-setting streaks Wednesday, with gas at the pump reaching a new high of nearly $3.25 and crude surpassing $110 for the first time.
The gains came as a weakening dollar led investors to shrug off an Energy Department report that crude oil and gasoline supplies jumped last week.
The national average price of a gallon of regular gas rose by 1.9 cents overnight to $3.246 a gallon, a record, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. Pump prices are following crude's recent surge, and could rise as high as $3.75 a gallon this spring, analysts say.
Meanwhile, light, sweet crude for April delivery rose $1.17 to settle at a record $109.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The dollar weakened throughout the day Wednesday, setting a number of new lows against the euro and attracting new buyers to the oil market.Crude futures offer a hedge against a falling dollar, and oil futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the dollar is weak. Many analysts believe the dollar's decline is the reason crude futures have surged to records in 12 of the past 13 sessions.
"It's almost like people are worried they're going to miss the ... train," said Linda Rafield, senior oil analyst at Platts, the energy research arm of McGraw-Hill Cos., of investors' dollar-driven enthusiasm for oil futures.
For consumers also facing rising food prices and a drop in housing values, the dollar-fed oil rally simply means more pain at the pump.