NEW YORK, March 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil price rose Monday as new portion of pipeline began to transport crude from the crucial Cushing trading hub to the Gulf Coast in January.
An inventory report by the Energy Information Administration showed that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for contracts, dropped last week for a seventh week.
On U.S. economic front, financial data firm Markit said Monday that U.S. manufacturing business conditions continued to improve at the end of the first quarter.
The Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index registered 55.5 in March, lower than 57.1 in February, but still the second highest since January 2013.
In addition, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index rose to 0. 14 in February from minus 0.45 in January, showing economic activity increased in the month, mainly thanks to improvements in production-related indicators.
Brent oil price dropped Monday on downbeat Chinese economic data. China's manufacturing activity contracted for a third month in March, adding to concerns about the world's second largest economy.
HSBC said Monday that Chinese purchasing manager index of March came to an eight-month low of 48.1, down from 48.5 in February.
Light, sweet crude for May delivery moved up 14 cents to settle at 99.6 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery lost 11 cents to close at 106. 81 dollars a barrel.