Oil prices fall, tracking biggest weekly gain since late Aug

FILE PHOTO: A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Carson – S1AETIZMOIAB/File Photo

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices dipped on Friday as the easing concerns over the Omicron coronavirus variant on global growth and fuel demand drove market sentiment.

Brent crude futures dropped 30 cents to $74.12 a barrel at 0758 GMT, after falling 1.9% on Thursday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures lost 18 cents to $70.76 a barrel, after sliding 2% in a volatile session the previous day.

Fears of Omicron are subsiding… and appetite for risk is returning,” Reuters cited Howie Lee, an economist from OCBC Bank as saying.

Lee added that as oil was heavily sold off in he last two weeks, there might be bargain hunters attempting to scoop up deals now.

But Lee warns that the market is not out of the woods yet and there is still some lingering concern on whether the Omicron variant may push border movement restrictions during the festive season, according to Reuters.

Prices are under pressure as China’s domestic air traffic, once the world’s envy after a fast rebound during the pandemic, is faltering amid a zero-COVID policy that has led to tighter travel rules in Beijing and weaker consumer confidence after repeated small outbreaks.

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