LONDON - Brent crude oil prices slid to a near three-month low point on Friday as traders fretted over weak demand in top consumer the United States, dealers said.

The price of Brent North Sea crude for December delivery fell to $106.52 a barrel -- touching a level last seen on August 9. It later stood at $106.83, down 16 cents from Thursday's close. New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in December, rose 33 cents to $97.44 a barrel.

However, WTI has also forged a series of multi-month low points this week as rising US reserves stoked worries over the strength of American demand for energy, hitting price levels.  On Thursday they struck $95.95 a barrel -- which was last witnessed on June 28.  "Prices came under pressure from growing US oil stockpiles," said Lucy Sidebotham.

, analyst at British-based energy consultancy Inenco, in reference to this week's oil market losses.

The US government's Department of Energy (DoE) said on Monday that US crude reserves had soared by 5.2 million barrels in the week ending October 18, easily beating expectations.

Another DoE report on Monday, delayed by the US government shutdown, showed crude inventories had jumped 4.0 million barrels in the previous week to October 11.

"US oil stockpiles have grown by approximately 22 million barrels over the past four weeks," added Sidebotham.

The oil market was dented also this week by a weaker-than-expected US non-farm payrolls report, traders said.

The pivotal data showed that the US economy added 148,000 jobs last month -- far less than the 183,000 forecast.

In contrast to the weak US outlook, manufacturing data on Thursday suggested improving demand from China, which is the second biggest global consumer of oil after the US.

Data published by HSBC showed the bank's preliminary Chinese purchasing managers' index for this month was 50.9, an improvement from September's 50.2 and the highest level since March.