Crude oil prices pulled away from a rally Thursday morning, as traders contemplated sluggish manufacturing activity in China. A flash estimate of China's Markit Economics/HSBC Purchasing Managers Index for February came in at 48.3, a seven-month low that follows January's 49.5 level. The index indicates growth with figures above 50. Below 50 indicates a contraction. On the flip side, crude oil continues to find support from a high demand prompted by a colder-than-average winter and from a weak U.S. dollar. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil shed 14 cents to $103.28 per barrel. Natural gas, lost 3 cents to $6.09 per million British thermal units. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices dropped 2.28 cents to $2.7981 per gallon. Heating oil prices gave up 1.18 cents to $3.1419 per gallon. At the pump, the national average price for a gallon of unleaded rose from Tuesday's $3.366 per gallon to $3.375, the AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report said.