LONDON - The price of oil dropped Monday after a survey showed a slight deterioration in China's manufacturing activity.
By midday in Europe, the benchmark
contract for U.S. crude for March delivery was down 24 cents to $97.25 a barrel
in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 74
cents on Friday.
Brent crude, used to set prices for
international varieties of crude, was down 43 cents to $105.97 on the ICE
exchange in London.
A Chinese index reported Saturday by a
government-affiliated agency fell from 51 points in December to 50.5 in
January, just above the 50 level that signifies expansion.
Weaker manufacturing in China, the
world's second-largest economy, could reduce global demand for energy, though
the survey results may reflect Chinese New Year effects. This year the holiday
spans late January and early February, reducing working days in both months.
Prices were pulled down last week by
forecasts of warmer weather in the U.S., following a spate of extreme cold in
In other energy futures trading on
-Wholesale gasoline was down 0.2 cents
at $2.633 a gallon
-Heating oil dropped 1.2 cents to
$2.985 a gallon.
-Natural gas fell 8.7 cents to $4.856
per 1,000 cubic feet.