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Oil prices slide below $105 per barrel

The price of oil dropped to its lowest level in a week.


The price of oil dropped to its lowest level in a week after reports of a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing.

Benchmark U.S. crude fell $2.61 to $104.66 per barrel. On March 15, oil hit $103.78.

The price fell after a London bank said Chinese industrial activity dropped to a four-month low in March. That could slow demand for crude because China's factories are big users of oil.

The price is also down because U.S. oil and gasoline demand are falling. And Saudi Arabia, the world's largest producer, earlier this week pledged to increase exports to help keep a lid on prices.

Brent crude fell $1.51 to $122.69.

Retail gasoline prices rose by nearly 2 cents to $3.88 per gallon. Gas is $4 or more in ten states and Washington D.C.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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