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Crude oil drops Tuesday

  |   Dec. 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM
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NEW YORK, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices dropped on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, as traders digested conflicting manufacturing reports.

In China, the Purchasing Managers Index for November showed growth after 13 months of contraction, the HSBC PMI rising from 49.5 to 50.5, which is just above the break-even point of 50.

In the same news cycle Monday, the Institute of Supply Management said the PMI for U.S. factories slipped from 51.7 in October to 49.5 in November.

With the economy drawing more attention than tensions in the Middle East, West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped 59 cents to $88.50 per barrel. Home heating oil shed 5.22 cents to reach $3.004 a gallon, while reformulated blendstock gasoline lost 3.75 cents to $2.689 a gallon. Henry Hub natural gas shed 0.5 cents to $3.54 per million British thermal units.

At the pump, AAA reported a national average price for regular unleaded gasoline at $3.381 per gallon, down from Monday's $3.387.

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