Oil prices edge higher as Omicron fears ease

A derek pumps in a oil field January 15, 2003 near the Saudi Arabian border. (Getty Images photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices edged higher on Thursday on confidence that the Omicron coronavirus variant would not dent global growth.

Brent crude futures rose 62 cents to $76.44 a barrel at 0536 GMT, adding to a 0.5% gain on Wednesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 73 cents to $73.09 per barrel, adding to a 0.4% in the previous session.

Markets buoyed by comments from BioNTech and Pfizer that a three-shot course of their coronavirus vaccine may protect against infection from the Omicron variant, according to Reuters.

“Early indications of the Omicron variant … suggest that it may be less severe than initially feared given hospitalization rates have not surged,” Reuters quoted Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar as saying.

“A third vaccine dose is also showing promising signs of protection against the new variant,” he said.

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