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By CHRIS KAHN
AP Energy Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Gasoline prices have finally dropped after 27 days.

The nationwide average for regular unleaded slipped less than a penny to $3.764 per gallon on Tuesday. That ended a streak of price hikes that began on Feb. 8. Pump prices rose by more than 28 cents per gallon in that period, making gasoline the most expensive ever for this time of year.

Gasoline already tops $4 per gallon in California, Alaska and Hawaii. It’s near the $4 mark in several other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Washington.

Despite the one-day drop, experts predict that gasoline will continue to rise over the next several weeks. The Oil Price Information Service predicts the nationwide average could peak at $4.25 per gallon in late April.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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