West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange traded at $64.35 a barrel on 6 November, after falling by more than $5 the previous day.

Oil traded as low as $61.30 a barrel on 28 October, a level last seen in May 2007 and the price of WTI is 60 per cent down since hitting an all-time record of $147.27 on 11 July.

The US government-run Energy Information Administration (EIA) said gasoline stocks rose by 1.1 million barrels last week, compared with a forecast drop of 650,000 barrels.

The EIA says it expects Opec output to be cut by 1.1 million barrels-a-day (b/d) by January, about 70 per cent of the 1.5 million b/d cut agreed by the organisation last month.

The market also continued to focus on concerns that the economic downturn will result in a prolonged global recession.

Figures released on 5 November showed that US companies cut about 157,000 jobs in October, the most in almost six years, and more than expected by analysts.