Crude oil held above $97 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange , with gains held in check by weak manufacturing data from China . The country's purchasing managers' index slipped to 50.5, officials said.The figure shows marginal growth, which is indicated by numbers above 50. It is also the lowest it has been in six months, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. West Texas Intermediate crude oil added 16 cents to $97.65 per barrel. Gasoline dropped .09 cents to reach $2.6305 a gallon. Home heating oil shed 1.39 cents , easing back to $2.9832 a gallon. Natural gas lost 14 cents to hit $4.80 per million British thermal units. The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline slipped to $3.279 per gallon from Sunday's $3.28 , the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.
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