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Gas prices just shy of record

Average price in AAA survey resumes push to $4 a gallon, backed by surge in crude.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gasoline prices as measured in the daily AAA survey resumed their drive toward $4 a gallon Saturday, rising to just below the record level after a one-day retreat.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline rose 0.2 cent to $3.988 a gallon, 0.1 cent shy of the record $3.989 set Thursday, according to the motorist group's Web site.

The average is expected to top $4 in the next few days, after a surge in crude oil prices that has added more than $16 to a barrel of oil since Wednesday. Crude settled at a record $138.54 a barrel Friday, up by $10.75, after setting an all-time intraday high of $139.12.

The $10.75 gain was the biggest one-day advance in dollar value ever, nearly doubling the previous mark of $5.49 set Thursday.

Weakness in the dollar, geopolitical concerns and an analyst's prediction of $150-a-barrel oil by July 4 helped spur Friday's advance.

California pays the most for gasoline, according to the survey, averaging $4.415, followed by Alaska at $4.288. The average price is $4 a gallon or more in 13 states and the District of Columbia; on Saturday, Maine became the 13th state to join the list.

Missouri has the lowest average price at $3.784, followed by South Carolina at $3.788.

Gasoline prices in the survey have risen for 30 of the past 32 days, setting records on 28 of those days. The price fell 0.3 cent Friday.

On its Web site, AAA says the information is gathered by Oil Price Information Service based on credit card swipes at 85,000 gasoline stations across the nation. To top of page

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