Crude oil prices hovered under $91 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange Monday, with traders reacting to data from China.
Just before the weekend, a key manufacturing index for China was revealed to have hit a four-month low. In addition, the European Union reported that unemployment in the 17-member eurozone reached a record 11.9 percent in January.
Economic news in the United States was also unsettling after the March 1 deadline for averting $85 billion in federal spending cuts passed with no resolution. The automatic spending cuts are expected to slow the economy, eliminating an estimated 700,000 jobs.
With these hints that demand would slacken, West Texas Intermediate crude oil, $90.68 a barrel, was steady through the weekend, adding 10 cents to $90.78 per barrel.
Gasoline shed 0.01 cents to $3.1299 a gallon.
Home heating oil added 0.53 cents to settle $2.9353 a gallon.
Natural gas also lost 3.4 cents to close $3.426 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline slipped from Sunday's $3.751 per gallon to $3.746, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report sai