09/13/2012 01:20 EDT | Updated 11/13/2012 05:12 EST

Gasoline prices expected to start falling Friday

The average price of gasoline across Canada edged higher Thursday, but one forecasting website predicted it would begin to drop Friday after a big spike at the pumps earlier this week.

The price-predicting website says the cost of a litre of gasoline will be anywhere from five to seven cents lower after midnight tonight, depending on the region.

Fuel watcher Dan McTeague, who runs the website, says there's no reason for the price volatility other than speculation by wholesalers and a critical lack of refining capacity.

And McTeague says consumers should brace for more price shocks in coming days thanks to continued volatility in Europe and predictions that the U.S. Federal Reserve will move to stimulate the American economy.

Gasoline prices shot up as much as 13 cents in Montreal on Wednesday to a high of $1.53 per litre for regular. But price-tracking website said prices there fell back today to an average of about $1.49.

The national average price, says GasBuddy, was more than $1.33, up a cent and a half.

It said prices today were stable in Toronto, with an average of $1.36 and Ottawa, at about $1.33. In Vancouver, the average price, at about $1.35, was on the rise.

In both New Brunswick and Newfoundland, where prices are regulated, the ceiling was raised by almost five cents.

The North American benchmark price of crude oil closed above $98 US per barrel in New York as traders reacted both to unrest in the Middle East and the U.S. Federal Reserve's announcement of moves to stimulate the American economy.

The Fed said it will spend $40 billion US a month to buy mortgage-backed securities for as long as it deems necessary. It also plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through mid-2015 — six months longer than it previously had planned.

Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen's capital Thursday, and there is violence around the U.S. mission in Cairo. The U.S. ambassador to Libya was killed Tuesday.

Crude for October delivery closed up $1.30 at $98.31 US a barrel.