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Oil steady above $101 after US-Russia talks

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery fell 9 cents to $101.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Associated Press

3/31/2014

The price of oil was little changed Monday as markets kept on eye on talks between the U.S. and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery fell 9 cents to $101.58 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international varieties of oil, was down 31 cents to $107.76 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Sunday in Paris. On Monday Russia said it was pulling a battalion of several hundred troops away from the Ukrainian border but kept tens of thousands in place, in what the U.S. warned was still a "tremendous buildup."

Markets were looking ahead to a report on China's manufacturing sector.

China is set to release official manufacturing figures for March on Tuesday that could cement expectations for new stimulus in the world's second-biggest economy. Recent data has suggested China's economy is continuing to slow — growth of 7.7 percent last year was the slowest in two decades.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 3 cents to $2.91 a gallon.

— Heating oil shed 3 cents to $2.93 a gallon.

— Natural gas lost 11 cents to $4.37 per 1,000 cubic feet.