The US gas pump was poised to be the Grinch that stole Christmas, with average prices rising toward three dollars a gallon, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
At three dollars a gallon, the average price would make it the highest holiday price in US history, according to the government's Oil Price Information Service.
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Prices shot up more than 10 percent in a week -- sometimes as much as five percent overnight in parts of the New York metropolitan area -- putting added pressure on consumers' wallets during the peak spending season.
"We'll see $4-a-gallon gas early next year. A lot of Wall Street-engendered money is being poured into gasoline futures," said energy analyst Peter Beutel of Cameron Hanover, adding that speculators pushed up wholesale gas futures by 55 cents a gallon in the past three months.