The price of crude oil fell to less than $70 a barrel on 1 October, pulling back from yesterday’s 5% gain on concerns the pace of fuel demand recovery in the US may stall.

Crude oil for November 2009 delivery declined as much as $0.72, or 1%, to $69.89 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange on 30 September, Bloomberg reported.

The price fell after a sudden drop in US business activity and as companies cut more jobs than estimated.

Prices rallied 5.9% yesterday after the Energy Department posted a surprise drawdown in gasoline stockpiles.

US gasoline inventories dropped 1.7 million barrels to 211.5 million in the week to 25 September, the Energy Department said.

Stockpiles were forecast to rise one million barrels, according to the median of estimates in a Bloomberg News survey of analysts.