SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices edged lower on Wednesday as investors tried to assess the full impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on global fuel demand.
Brent crude futures dropped 19 cents to $75.24 a barrel at 0534 GMT, after setting 3.2% higher on Tuesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $71.81 per barrel, down 24 cents, having gained 3.7% in the previous session.
“After having been oversold last week on fears about the Omicron’s impact, there has been a correction this week on signs the Omicron may be mild,” Reuters quoted Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities as saying.
“But investors are still not fully optimistic and are taking a wait-and-see approach until they learn about Omicron’s full impact,” he said.
The new variant can partially evade the protection from two doses of Pfizer and partner BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, the research head of a laboratory at the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.