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Oil stable at US$102 after China, US data

AP--The price of oil was steady near US$102 a barrel Tuesday after an improvement in Chinese manufacturing was offset by reduced consumer spending in the U.S.

Benchmark U.S. oil for July delivery was down 7 cents to US$102.40 a barrel at 0900 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 24 cents to US$102.47 on Monday.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 31 cents to US$108.52 a barrel in London.

Energy demand from China was likely to stay solid as a second survey confirmed that China's manufacturing improved last month. But there were still worrying signs for the U.S. economy as a government report showed last week that Americans unexpectedly spent less in April, a possible drag on growth.

The HSBC index, based on a survey of Chinese factory purchasing managers, climbed to 49.4 last month from 48.1 in April. On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said consumers cut back on spending in April for the first time in a year.

In other energy futures trading on Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline dipped 0.7 cent to US$2.943 a gallon.

— Natural gas slipped 1.5 cents to US$4.597 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil fell 0.7 cent to US$2.87 a gallon.

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