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Oil prices steady on China's GDP data

April 13, 2012 at 5:11 PM   |   Comments

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NEW YORK, April 13 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices closed at less than $103 a barrel Friday on the New York Mercantile Exchange while traders absorbed economic growth data from China.

First-quarter gross domestic product growth in China rose 8.1 percent, which came in short of expectations. Traders would normally pull back at this point but some are hedging their bets, expecting the People's Bank of China to step in with a stimulus measure.

In New York, West Texas Intermediate crude oil for May delivery lost 81 cents to $102.83 per barrel. Home heating oil prices shed 0.83 cents to $3.1746 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 1.06 cents to $3.3461 per gallon.

Natural gas prices added 0.7 cents to $1.99 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline fell to $3.901 per gallon from Thursday's $3.907, AAA said.

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