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Oil Prices Retreat Following Lackluster China Data

January 24, 2014

! WASHINGTON , Rabi'I 22, 1435, Jan 23, 2014 , SPA -- Oil prices fell Thursday as lackluster data from China overshadowed news that oil started flowing through a new pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast . Benchmark U.S. crude for March delivery was down 24 cents to $96.49 a barrel at 0535 GMT in electronic trading on the U.S. Mercantile Exchange . A preliminary manufacturing index for China fell to 49.6 in January, below the 50 level that signifies expansion and a six-month low, according to HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics. In December the index was at 50.5. Oil rose nearly 2 percent, or $1.76 , to $96.73 on Wednesday following the opening of the southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, which is expected to eventually bring 500,000 barrels of crude oil a day to the Gulf Coast . With demand expected to rise, the price of the U.S. oil rose closer to that of more-expensive imports. Oil last closed above $96 a barrel on Dec. 31 . Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 22 cents to $108.05 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London . Natural gas futures remained firm, up 4.8 cents at $4.737 per 1,000 cubic feet, as temperatures in many parts of the U.S. Northeast remained in the single digits, boosting demand. --SPA 11:20 LOCAL TIME 08:20 GMT All Rights Reversed for Saudi Press Agency Provided by Syndigate.info , an Albawaba.com company


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Source: Saudi Press Agency (Saudi Arabia)


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