Gas prices have continued to move lower, which is good news for the millions of people who are expected to hop into a vehicle and drive for the holiday weekend next weekend.

The average for a gallon of regular no-lead was $2.90 Monday, down 2 cents from Friday and 5 cents from last Monday in the five-county Philadelphia area, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.

South Jersey's average was $2.68, down 2 cents from Friday and 7 cents from a week ago.

The national average was $2.79, down 4 cents from Friday and 8 cents from last Monday.

The price is back down from the spring peak price of $2.93 a gallon set on May 6, according to Jana L. Tidwell, acting manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

"The price of gasoline follows fast on the heels of the crude prices," she said. "A $10 drop in the price of a barrel of crude translates into a 24 cent drop in a gallon of gas."

The Philly area's average for diesel was $3.25 Monday, down 5 cents in a week.

In South Jersey, the diesel average, diesel was averaging $2.90 Monday, down 2 cents from a week ago.

In the nation overall, diesel was $3.05 Monday, down 5 cents from the previous week.

The auto club says that the number of Americans traveling on Memorial Day weekend is expected to grow 5.4 percent, to about 32.1 million, with about 28 million of those going by car.

Meanwhile, oil prices dropped below $70 a barrel after a short-lived morning rally in Asia was stopped by declining European stock markets.

Benchmark crude for July delivery was down 27 cents to $69.77 a barrel by early afternoon London time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost 76 cents to settle at $70.04 on Friday.

Declining stocks in Europe kept oil from extending early morning gains in Asia when crude reached $71.

Crude has fallen about 20 percent from $87.15 earlier this month as investor concern about Europe's debt crisis hammered global stocks and the euro. But prices are up from as low as $64.24 a barrel last week, as the euro steadied.

Oil plunged to $32 a barrel in December 2008 from $147 five months earlier as a financial crisis in the United States triggered a global recession.

The Brent crude July contact in London was down 81 cents to $71.1 on the ICE futures exchange.

In other Nymex trading in June contracts, heating oil dropped 0.01 cent to $1.886 gallon, and gasoline dropped 0.01 cent to $1.952 a gallon. Natural gas was 0.02 cent at $4.01 per 1,000 cubic feet.