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Oil falls on China factory figures, movement in Russia military ranks

The price of oil fell Tuesday, dented by soft Chinese manufacturing figures and Russia's withdrawal of a small number of troops from the forces massed along its border with Ukraine.

Benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was down 29 cents to US$101.29 a barrel at 0825 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 9 cents to US$101.58 on Monday as markets kept an eye on talks between the U.S. and Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of oil, fell 7 cents to US$107.69 a barrel on the ICE exchange in London.

Ric Spooner of CMC Markets in Sydney said two Chinese manufacturing surveys released Tuesday showed “downside risks” to China's economy

Oil prices have been supported by the possibility that economic sanctions against Russian officials and businessmen could expand to affect Russia's energy sector.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to US$2.911 a gallon

— Natural gas was down 1 cent at US$4.361 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil eased 0.2 cent to US$2.928 a gallon.

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