Gasoline prices tumble more than 20 cents a gallon

All but one of the metropolitan areas in Nevada tracked by AAA saw a decrease of more than 20 cents in the average price of gasoline in November. Carson City prices dropped 19 cents a gallon.

A gallon of regular unleaded gasoline cost an average of $3.40 across the state, up from $3.06 a year ago, the automobile club reported.

Las Vegas showed an average of $3.37 a gallon, down 21 cents from the previous month; Henderson was $3.38, down 22 cents; and North Las Vegas was $3.36, also down 22 cents.

The highest average gasoline price was in Sparks at $3.48 a gallon.

“Global economic issues continue to play a huge role in where oil and gas prices are going,” AAA Nevada spokesman Matt Skryja said. “This is especially true in the eurozone, where sovereign debt concerns remain in the forefront of investors’ minds.

“Investors have been a large driving force of where prices have been going as their buying behavior can influence the price of commodities, up or down,” he added. “Poor economic data is often interpreted as an indication of decreasing demand, or the potential of decreasing demand, which causes the price of oil to drop as investors pull back on their buying.”

The strengthening of the U.S. dollar relative to foreign currencies also influences prices. Oil futures are priced in U.S. dollars. As the dollar strengthens, Skryja said, effective purchasing power of those holding foreign currencies decreases. As this happens, oil futures become a less attractive investment, which puts downward pressure on prices.

Nevada has the ninth-highest average state price in the nation. The national average is $3.27.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

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