The five-county Philadelphia area is paying an average $2.72 for a gallon of regular gas for the third day in a row, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

South Jersey's average also is unchanged: It's been at $2.51 for three days.

The national average was $2.63 for the fifth day.

The Philly area's diesel average shed 1 cent overnight, to $3.02. South Jersey's was unchanged ($2.71), as was the national average ($2.82).

Meanwhile, oil prices rose above $71 a barrel as investors weighed evidence of weak U.S. crude demand against the effects of a falling dollar.

At early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for January delivery was up 36 cents to $71.03 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract dropped $1.95 to settle at $70.67 on Wednesday.

Oil has fallen about 13 percent since reaching its 2009 high of $82 a barrel in October as traders mull evidence that U.S. demand for crude and its products remains weak despite an overall economic recovery.

In other Nymex trading in January contracts, heating oil rose 1.57 cents to $1.9250 while gasoline gained 1.24 cents to $1.8697. Natural gas jumped 5.9 cents to $4.957 per 1,000 cubic feet.

In London, Brent crude for January delivery rose 46 cents to $72.85 on the ICE Futures exchange.