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Supermarkets spark fuel-price war

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A petrol price war has ignited as major fuel retailers BP, Shell, Esso, Morrisons and Asda slash prices amid the falling cost of oil.

Morrisons` 3p-a-litre cut takes the average cost at its forecourts to 107.7p for unleaded and 119.2p for diesel, while rival supermarket Asda cut unleaded to 106.9p and diesel to 118.9p.

BP said it was dropping its prices by as much as 3p a litre, while Esso said fuel sales were a "highly competitive business and we vigorously compete with competition".

Darren Blackhurst, trading director at Asda, had called on rivals to match its move in the price war.

He said: "We are calling on other retailers to follow our lead and give drivers a fair deal at the pumps, not just those that live near an Asda."

A Shell spokesman said: "On Shell company-owned forecourts we will certainly be passing on price cuts to our customers. We always aim to remain competitive."

The average price of petrol at the pumps is now 112.87p for petrol, and 124.21p for diesel, according to the AA.

© The Press Association 2008