Business News Asia
Crude oil futures rose on Friday (Dec. 24) in light trading ahead of the Christmas holiday. The market is focused on the next step of OPEC+ and the impact of the Omicron variant.
- Brent crude futures closed up 71 cents at $76.52 a barrel.
- WTI crude futures closed up 96 cents, or 1.32%, at $73.72 a barrel.
U.S. markets are closed Friday for the Christmas holiday.
Oil prices have recovered this week. Fears about the impact of the highly contagious Omicron virus on the global economy have subsided. Initial data indicated that the extent of disease progression is milder than other variants.
OPEC+ will meet on January 4 to decide on further oil production policy. So far, OPEC+ is pumping an additional 400,000 barrels per day, as decided earlier in the year. It remains to be seen whether OPEC+ will continue along this line since according to IEA reports there is an oil surplus. If there is indeed an oil surplus due to the Omicron variant, oil prices could soon come under pressure again. This could influence the policy of OPEC+.
Investors remain vigilant in the face of increasing cases of infection, as it is not yet clear to what extent the governments of the individual countries will again restrict travel.
Omicron goes around the world Thursday. Health experts warn that the fight against the COVID-19 virus is far from over: infections with the coronavirus are increasing wherever they spread. Many countries, including Italy and Greece, are experiencing new restrictions and the number of new cases is unprecedented.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, 2021 was a strong year for world oil demand due to the global recovery from 2020. If the pandemic continues to subside, 2022 could be another strong year for oil producers despite negative reports. The push to switch from fossil fuels to clean alternatives will continue for a long time, which should not affect oil demand in the near future.
The Spot Market is Closed
Saturday, December 25, 2021