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September 23, 2008 12:00 PM, EDT

Diesel Falls 6.5¢ to $3.958 in 10th Straight Decline

Gasoline Drops 11.7¢ to $3.718
Tom Biery/Trans Pixs

Diesel fuel’s national average price fell 6.5 cents Monday to $3.958 a gallon, the 10th straight weekly decline and the first time it fell below the $4 mark in almost six months, the Department of Energy said Monday.

Gasoline, meanwhile, fell 11.7 cents to $3.718 a gallon, DOE said following its weekly survey of filling stations.

The gas downturn followed last week’s 18.7-cent jump, which had in turn followed nine weeks declines, according to DOE figures.

Diesel set a record $4.764 on July 14, while gas set a record of $4.114 July 7.

The diesel downturn left it 92.6 cents over the same week last year, and came as oil prices surged $16 Monday in a single-day record increase to close at more than $120 a barrel.

The oil price surge was due in part to the dollar’s decline, pegged by analysts to concerns about a $700 billion federal bailout plan for the U.S. economy, Bloomberg reported.

Diesel fell all five national regions, led by an 11.3-cent downturn on the West Coast to $3.943 a gallon, DOE said.

Trucking’s main fuel remained over $4 on the East Coast, declining 6.1 cents to $4.021 a gallon.

Each week, DOE surveys about 350 diesel filling stations to compile a national snapshot average price.