Oil prices rose more than 2% Monday in hopes that the Omicron variant will have a limited impact on global demand in 2022, although rising cases have led to flight cancellations.
- Brent crude rose $2.46, or 3.2%, at $78.60 a barrel.
- WTI crude rose $1.78, or 2.4%, at $75.57 a barrel.
Previously, oil prices fell more than 10% when the first reports of the new variant appeared. In addition, various MSM previously spread fear of the new variant after preliminary data indicated that Omicron was spreading rapidly.
U.S. airlines canceled more than 1,300 flights Sunday because of rising covid-19 cases among crew members. In addition, many cruises were also canceled again for the first time. It is also striking that in U.S. states with a high vaccination rate there are apparently many Omicron cases, such as for example in New York or Vermont.
Investors are also waiting for the next OPEC+ meeting on January 4, when producer partners will decide whether to proceed with the planned 400,000 barrels per day capacity increase in February.
Meanwhile, initial Omicron cases were reported in many Asian countries including Japan, Singapore, Thailand, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
Many countries in Asia are also experiencing travel restrictions again, such as in China where cases are on the rise again in various places like Xi’An. The city of 13 million people is currently experiencing another very severe lockdown after a local outbreak. Officials in Thailand have also warned of the rapidly increasing number of Omicron variant cases and that after the New Year cases could rise again, which could again lead to restrictions in normal life. However, officials also say that the Omicron variant is likely to be milder than the Delta variant.
Officials in Singapore have decided that Omicron infected people should recover at home, based on data showing a milder course of the disease. People who show symptoms should be cared for at local treatment centers.
As talks began yesterday between world powers and Iran on reviving the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran said oil exports were the focus of the talks. So far, however, there appears to be little progress.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2021