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Crude oil slides under $97 Friday

Jan. 24, 2014 at 6:00 PM

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices slipped under $97 per barrel in New York as traders considered supply data, falling equities. a deep chill and stalled manufacturing in China.

The Energy Information Administration reported a less-than-expected inventory gain Thursday, with stockpiles up 990,000 barrels to 351.2 million during the week. Traders had been been expecting an increase of 1.15 million barrels.

In China, a key business index showed manufacturing in contraction in January.

Traders also contemplated a deep chill across the United States and a two-day retreat on Wall Street. On Friday, the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average dropped 318 points, the largest one-day fall in seven months.

Light, sweet West Texas Intermediate crude on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 41 cents to $96.91 per barrel.

Gasoline added 0.5 cents to $2.6668 a gallon.

Home heating oil gained 9.25 cents to $3.169 a gallon.

Natural gas gained 44 cents to $5.17 per million British thermal units.

The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline rose to $3.288 per gallon from Thursday's $3.287, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.

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