As concerns about Omicron and fuel demand ease, oil prices rise

© Reuters.

Gina Lee a rebound of nearly 5% the day before, oil prices rose in early Asian trading on Tuesday. Concerns about fuel demand subsided, and negotiations to resume Iran’s nuclear agreement encountered obstacles.

As of 10:22 p.m. Eastern Time (3:22 ​​a.m. GMT), it was up 0.36% to $73.34 and up 0.63% to $69.93.

Ntsakisi Maluleke, a public health expert in Gauteng, South Africa, said last weekend that patients with the new omicron COVID-19 variant showed only mild symptoms. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, also said that so far, “it does not appear to be of great severity.”

ANZ Bank analysts said in a report: “This reduces the likelihood of the worst-case scenario that the oil market has been pricing in the past few weeks.”

Another sign of confidence is that Saudi Arabia raised its January crude oil prices for Asia and the US earlier this week. Although the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) insisted on their plan to increase the oil supply by 400,000 barrels per day in January at their meeting last week, the decision was made.

Obstacles to indirect US-Iran negotiations to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement will delay the restoration of Iranian supplies, thereby boosting prices.

“Although negotiations may still be successful when they restart later this week, the market may need to consider delaying Iranian oil exports for a longer period of time. This is good for oil prices and supports OPEC+’s plan to increase oil production by 2022,” Australia Commonwealth Bank commodity analyst Vivek Dhar said in a report.

Investors are now waiting for the U.S. stock market to expire later in the day.

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