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Gas and diesel up 1 cent in Phila. area

There were 1-cent increases all around at the gas pumps today.

There were 1-cent increases all around at the gas pumps today.

The average for a gallon of regular no-lead was at $2.63, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

South Jersey's average was at $2.44 today.

The national average was $2.63.

Diesel was up 1 cent all around: in the Philly area (to $2.72), in South Jersey (to $2.41) and at the national level (to $2.53).

Today, 39 states and Washington have an average gas price of $2.50 or more. South Carolina has the lowest state average, at $2.41.

California had the highest state average, at $2.93, followed by Hawaii ($2.92) and Alaska ($2.85).

Meanwhile, oil prices surged again to a new high for the year, with investors pouring money into crude markets as a hedge against inflation.

Adding to crude's advance was new government data showing an uptick in U.S. demand for gasoline, and a report from oil giant BP PLC that said the world's proved oil reserves fell in 2008, the first drop in a decade.

Benchmark crude for July delivery rose $1.06 to $71.07 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange after earlier touching $71.79. On Tuesday, it jumped $1.92 to close at $70.01.

As the U.S. currency has lost value over the last several months, crude prices have doubled largely from the influx of cash from Wall Street.

Equity markets have rebounded, as well, on the belief that the worst of the recession is over, and that has helped to pull energy prices higher, said Jim Ritterbusch, president of energy consultancy Ritterbusch and Associates.