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Oil falls but hovers near $104 a barrel 


The Associated Press

The price of oil drifted lower from a one-month high Thursday but held near $104 a barrel.

Benchmark U.S. crude for July delivery was down 22 cents to $103.85 a barrel at 0925 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.74 to close at $104.07 on Wednesday.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 15 cents to $110.40 on the ICE exchange in London.

The U.S. oil price hit a one-month high Wednesday after a weekly report from the Energy Information Administration showed that U.S. crude oil supplies dropped 7.2 million barrels for the week ended May 16. The drop was bigger than analysts expected.

Preliminary results of a monthly HSBC survey showed that the contraction in China's manufacturing eased in May, but the improvement was not sufficient to boost energy prices.

In other energy future trading in New York.

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.4 cent to $2.976 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 2.9 cents to $4.502 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil dropped 0.4 cent to $2.948 a gallon.

 

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