Oil and gas prices on the rise again

A funny thing happened on the way to lower oil and gasoline prices: They went up.

Two weeks after the U.S. and other oil-importing nations took action that knocked down the price of oil to almost $90 a barrel, it's back around $100. And gas pump prices, which had dropped since May, are up about a nickel since Friday.

Oil is rising again as investors bet that the economies of many countries, including the U.S., will improve in the second half of the year, and global demand for petroleum will rise.

Benchmark oil for August delivery rose $1.88 to $98.53 a barrel in afternoon trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude gained $4.07 to $117.69 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Higher oil prices mean higher gas prices. The national average pump price rose 1.4 cents today to $3.583 a gallon, according to AAA and the Oil Price Information Service. That's up 4.2 cents from a week ago but still 86 cents more than a year ago.

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