The average cost of a gallon of regular gasoline fell by a penny in the Philadelphia area overnight, but held steady for the nation, AAA Mid-Atlantic said.

The average in southeastern Pennsylvania this morning was $1.75 per gallon. In South Jersey it was $1.53. The national average was $1.67 for the third day running, the auto club said.

Crude oil prices were up slightly after a sharp decline overnight as investors weighed the impact of the global economic slowdown on crude demand against oil producers' decision to slash output.