Crude price eases

NEW YORK (AP) -- Crude prices have dropped sharply after rising in recent days on speculation about the possible impact from Tropical Storm Gustav.

At midday, crude was recently down $3 to near $115 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Some traders think if there's a disruption in output from the Gulf of Mexico that the government could tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed.

Crude futures earlier today traded as high as $120.50 a barrel. Light trading heading into the holiday weekend was seen adding to the volatility.

At the pump, auto club AAA says the average for regular unleaded gasoline is $3.66 a gallon.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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