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Crude steady near $106

The Associated Press

7/15/2013

NEW YORK — The price of oil held steady Monday as slowing economic growth in China stymied crude's upward momentum.

At midday in New York, U.S. benchmark crude for August delivery was up 1 cent at $105.96 a barrel.

Oil is up about 10 percent so far this month. It has been jolted higher by unexpectedly sharp drops in U.S. crude and gasoline inventories, which suggest stronger demand. The military ouster in early July of Egypt's president has also added a premium to crude, reflecting the risk of supply disruption from political instability in a country that controls the Suez Canal.

Those factors were tempered Monday by a second straight quarter of slowing economic growth in China. The world's No. 2 economy expanded 7.5 percent in the April-June quarter after 7.7 percent growth in the previous quarter. It was China's weakest growth rate since 1991 and signals a decrease in its need for crude and other fuels.

Brent crude was up 1 cent at $108.82 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

In other energy futures trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 1 cent to $3.11 a gallon.

— Heating oil is flat at $3.03 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 7 cents to $3.57 per 1,000 cubic feet.

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