Oil rises on optimism Omicron’s impact will be limited on fuel demand, Auto News, ET Auto
By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO: Oil prices rose on Monday, extending gains from last Friday, helped by growing optimism that the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant will be limited on global economic growth and fuel demand.
Brent futures rose 53 cents, or 0.7%, to $ 75.68 a barrel at 0100 GMT, after rising 1% on Friday.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 69 cents, or 1.0%, to $ 72.36 a barrel, after rising 1% in the previous session.
Both benchmarks posted gains of around 8% last week, their first weekly gain in Sept. They have recouped more than half of the losses suffered since the Omicron outbreak on November 25.
“Market sentiment has improved as the threat of the Omicron variant has receded,” said Toshitaka Tazawa, analyst at Fujitomi Securities Co Ltd.
“WTI will likely test its recent high of $ 73.34 and then attempt to climb to $ 78, the level before Omicron fears lead to a steep decline at the end of last month,” he said. declared.
South African scientists see no signs the Omicron variant is causing more serious illness, they said on Friday, as officials announced plans to roll out vaccine boosts with daily infections approaching an all-time high.
COVID-19 booster injections significantly restore protection against mild illnesses caused by the Omicron variant, the UK Health Security Agency said on Friday.
Nonetheless, investors remained cautious about the coordinated release of US oil reserves from oil-consuming countries as well as tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday it would sell 18 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) on December 17, as part of a previous plan to try to reduce prices by gasoline.
On Sunday, the Group of Seven warned in a statement that Russia would face massive consequences and high costs if President Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine.
The US intelligence services estimate that Russia could plan a multi-front offensive against Ukraine as early as next year, involving up to 175,000 troops.
Separately, Iraq’s petroleum minister said on Sunday that he expected the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to maintain its current policy of gradually increasing monthly supply by 400,000 bpd. .