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Crude oil futures closed higher on Friday (Dec. 29) as U.S. crude inventories fell more than analysts expected. This suggests that U.S. oil demand remains strong, even during the spread of the Omicron variant.
- WTI crude futures were up 58 cents, or 0.8%, at $76.56 a barrel.
- BRENT crude futures were up 29 cents, or 0.4%, at $79.23 a barrel.
Crude oil futures rose. After the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 3.5 million barrels last week. Gasoline stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels, while stocks of refined oil fell which includes heating oil and diesel, fell by 1.7 million barrels.
The EIA data is consistent with a report from the American Petroleum Institute (API), which previously reported that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 3.1 million barrels last week.
Meanwhile, U.S. airlines have canceled many flights over the Christmas period due to staff shortages. A large number of pilots and flight attendants have to be quarantined due to rising COVID-19 infections. More flight cancellations are expected towards the New Year.
Investors will be keeping an eye on the OPEC+ meeting on January 4, 2022, where the production policy for February 2022 will be set.
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Thursday, December 30. 2021