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    U.S. Gas Demand Hits Three-Month Low

    MasterCard Advisors report a 1-percent decrease in barrels pumped per day.

    NEW YORK -- U.S. retail gasoline demand fell to a three-month low last week, caused by slowed travel at the end of the summer driving season, Reuters reported, citing MasterCard Advisors' weekly SpendingPulse report.

    Motorists pumped, on average, 9.44 million barrels of gasoline daily in the week ended Sept. 21, a decrease of 1 percent from the previous week's 9.54 million barrels per day, according to the report.

    Last week's rate was the lowest since the week ended June 8, which was when retail gasoline prices spiked to a record $3.20 a gallon, according to the report.

    "Traditionally, this tends to be the bottom of the decline in demand for the season," Michael McNamara, vice president of MasterCard Advisors, told Reuters. "I wouldn't be surprised to see a small uptick in next week's numbers."

    However, last week's retail gasoline demand was 8.3 percent higher than the year-ago period. The four-week moving average rose 5.2 percent from a year earlier, at 9.594 million barrels per day, the report stated.

    Meanwhile, the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its weekly report on energy inventories yesterday, which showed that crude oil stockpiles rose 1.8 million barrels to 320.6 million barrels last week, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    Gasoline inventories grew by 600,000 barrels to 191.4 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 200,000 barrel increase, the report stated.

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