Oil prices mixed after COVID-19 flight cancelation

Oil pumpjacks are seen near Aneth, Utah, U.S., October 29, 2017. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices were mixed on Monday, after airlines called off thousands of flights in the United States over Christmas holidays amid surging coronavirus infections.

Brent crude rose 20 cents to $76.34 a barrel at 0544 GMT, after setting down 0.92% on Friday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 61 cents to $73.18 per barrel.

Both contracts jumped 3% to 4% last week after early data suggested that the Omicron variant of coronavirus may cause a milder level of illness, according to Reuters.

In the past three days, thousands of passengers traveling during Christmas have been stranded after U.S. airlines canceled flights due to coronavirus-related staffing shortages, Reuters reported.

“Lower travel equaling lower economic activity in the U.S. equals lower WTI, the U.S. oil benchmark,” Reuters quoted OANDA analyst Jeffrey Halley as saying.

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