Gas is getting a bit pricier ahead of Labor Day weekend.
The average U.S. price for a gallon of gasoline rose by 1.8 cents to $3.56 a gallon Thursday, its biggest overnight jump in six weeks, according to auto club AAA. The average in the bay area was $3.49, up 8 cents in a week.
Crude oil futures have risen 5 percent in August on worries about escalating violence in Egypt and the possibility of a U.S. strike against Syria.
"It is increasingly likely that pump prices will rise in the coming days due to concerns about U.S. strikes in Syria and the potential consequences in the Middle East," said AAA spokesman Michael Green.
Still, Green points out that Labor Day gas prices were 27 cents higher last year after Hurricane Isaac struck the U.S. Gulf Coast on Aug. 28 and refinery production lagged.
Oil "is really going up and down with Syria," said Paul Christopher, chief international strategist at Wells Fargo Investors, though concern of an imminent attack against Syria "seems to have abated."
New hurdles appeared to be slowing the formation of an international coalition to undertake a military strike against the Arab nation, which is suspected of a chemical weapons attack. Russia blocked British efforts to force a resolution at the United Nations. British Prime Minister David Cameron said his country would wait to join any military efforts until a U.N chemical weapons inspection team releases its findings.
A rise in U.S. crude inventories helped lower the price on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said crude stockpiles for the week ended Aug. 23 climbed by 3 million barrels to 362.1 million barrels. Analysts had expected a slight fall.