Crude oil slid under $97 per barrel Monday on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- oil following equities, which stumbled hard Monday. The purchasing managers' index in China slipped to 50.5, officials said.The figure shows marginal growth, which is indicated by numbers above 50. It is also the lowest it has been in six months, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. In the United States, Markit Economics pegged the PMI for manufacturing at 52.7, a three-month low. West Texas Intermediate crude oil shed 87 cents to $96.62 per barrel. Gasoline dropped 1.69 cents to reach $2.6145 a gallon. Home heating oil added 0.95 cents to reach $3.0066 a gallon. Natural gas added 3 cents to hit $4.97 per million British thermal units. The national average price of unleaded regular gasoline slipped to $3.279 per gallon from Sunday's $3.28, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.