Gas prices reverse course: 2-cent drop

Gasoline prices fell for the first time in nine days but still remain $1.05, or 37%, above year-ago levels.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices revesrsed course, falling for the first time in nine days, according to a nationwide survey of credit card swipes at gasoline stations.

The average price of unleaded regular dropped 2 cents to $3.835 a gallon, according to the survey released Thursday by motorist group AAA.

That decrease followed eight days of increases totalling 18.7 cents. Sunday's jump pf 6.2 cents marked the biggest one-day spike for gas prices since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.

While prices have remained under $4 for some time, they are still much higher than a year ago, when gas was selling for less than $3 a gallon. Current prices are about 37% higher from a year earlier at this time.

Still, prices are 27.9 cents, or 6.8%, down from the record high price of $4.114 a gallon set on July 17.

Gas prices have benefited a bit from lower oil prices. Crude has been trending lower amid weakening demand and in response to the recent slew of storms and hurricanes.

On Wendesday, oil prices rebounded after shedding more than $10 a barrel in two days. The recovery, which sent prices up $6 to $97.01 a barrel, was led by a weakening dollar and investors' shifting appetite for other commodities, like gold. Gold prices surged to a record high, rising $70, or 9%, to $850.50 an ounce.

Eleven states reported gas prices above $4 a gallon in the AAA survey: Alaska, Alabama, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Alaska continues to be the state with the most expensive gas prices, at $4.389 a gallon. The cheapest gas continues to be found in New Jersey, where gas cost $3.517 a gallon, according to AAA's Web site.  To top of page

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