Oil prices turned more than 1% higher, during trading today, Friday, with Brent crude rising above $ 75, with prices heading to achieve their largest weekly gains since late August, supported by waning concerns about the impact of the new Corona virus, Omicron, on global growth. and demand for fuel.
The price of Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate is set to rise by more than 7% this week, which is their first weekly gain in 7 weeks.
Oil prices today
Brent crude futures prices – for February 2022 delivery – rose by 0.9%, recording $75.11 a barrel, after falling below $74 earlier in the session.
The prices of West Texas Intermediate crude futures – January delivery – also rose by 1.06%, recording 71.68 dollars a barrel, after falling to less than 71 dollars in early trading.
Earlier in the week, the oil market regained about half of the losses it incurred since the emergence of the Omicron mutant on November 25, as early studies indicate that obtaining 3 doses of the Pfizer vaccine provides protection against the new Corona mutant.
“Fears about Omicron are easing… risk appetite is returning,” said OCBC economist Hui Li, adding that with oil selling heavily in the past two weeks, someone might be trying to get deals.
He added that the market remains in a state of constant concern over whether the Omicron mutant may push movement restrictions at the border during the holiday season.
Air traffic conditions
Oil prices remain under pressure, as domestic air traffic in China, once the envy of the world after a quick recovery during the epidemic, is faltering amid attempts to control the spread of Corona, which has led to tightening travel rules in Beijing and weak consumer confidence after the outbreak of the recurring outbreak. the disease.
Meanwhile, rating agency Fitch downgraded real estate developer China Evergrande, after it defaulted on overseas bonds.
This fueled fears of a possible slowdown in China’s real estate sector, as well as the broader economy of the world’s largest oil importer.
“News headlines about a Japanese study showing that Omicron is 4 times more transmissible as the delta mutant also sparked some selling,” Oanda analyst Jeffrey Haley added.
“Oil had a huge influx – it was an excuse for some short-term money to take some profits,” Haley said.
The dollar’s rise ahead of US inflation data due later today, Friday, also affected oil prices, as oil usually falls when the dollar consolidates, because it makes oil more expensive for those who own other currencies.
Inflation numbers are expected to prompt an interest rate hike in the US as early as March 2022.
SOURCE : REUTERS