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Oil price weakens ahead of China data

AP-- The price of oil declined Monday as markets waited for the preliminary reading of China's manufacturing for June.

Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 56 cents to US$105.18 a barrel at 0800 GMT in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract closed down 10 cents at US$105.74 on Friday.

Brent crude, used to price international oils, slipped 62 cents to US$112.68 a barrel in London.

Oil prices were steady going into the weekend as markets grew accustomed to news reports of violence in Iraq where the Iraqi government is trying to wrest back some of the territory it has lost to insurgents, Desmond Chua, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore, said in a commentary. The price of oil rose in recent weeks as investors worried that the surge of violence in the oil-rich country would strain crude supplies.

Earlier on Monday, the extremist group that has seized much of Syria and Iraq declared the establishment of a new Islamic state and demanded allegiance from Muslims worldwide.

In other energy futures trading on the Nymex:

— Wholesale gasoline drifted down 2.2 cents to US$3.052 a gallon.

— Natural gas added 0.6 cent to US$4.415 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil was down 2.2 cents to US$2.982 a gallon.

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