* U.S. retail gasoline averages $3.5918/gallon
* Rise comes in response to increases from wholesalers
* Brent crude oil hit nine-month high last week
NEW YORK, Feb 10 The average price in the United
States for a gallon of regular gasoline rose nearly 25 cents in
the past two weeks, up steadily since December as refineries
passed along their costs, a widely followed survey released on
Gasoline prices averaged $3.5918 per gallon on Feb. 8, up
24.75 cents from Jan. 25, said Trilby Lundberg, editor of the
"The amount of change is very big," Lundberg said.
"The wholesale price increases accelerated in the past two
weeks and that's why we have the big rise."
The retail price of regular gasoline in the United States
has risen for seven weeks straight, Lundberg said.
The current average price is up 8.17 cents from a year
earlier, she said.
Prices had declined for 11 weeks between Oct. 5, when
gasoline touched near $3.84 per gallon, and Dec. 21, when they
started to rise again.
"Now that the wholesale price hikes have accelerated, the
need for retailers to raise prices on the street is becoming
acute," Lundberg said.
Brent crude oil futures hit a nine-month high above
$119 a barrel on Friday, supported by data that showed strong
growth in Chinese oil imports.
Brent's premium to U.S. oil futures has increased on
expectations that Midwest crude stockpiles will remain elevated
as constraints on the Seaway pipeline continue to limit
shippers' ability to send crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Among the cities surveyed, Los Angeles drivers paid the most
at $4.10 per gallon, and filling the gas tank cost the least in
Billings, Montana, at $3.05 per gallon.
(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Dale Hudson)