Oil prices dip as traders monitor Omicron spread

2021-12-14 05:25

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NEW YORK, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices declined on Monday as traders continued to assess the impact of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery lost 38 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at 71.29 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for February delivery decreased 76 cents, or 1 percent, to close at 74.39 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

For the week ending Friday, WTI jumped 8.2 percent, while Brent surged 7.5 percent, based on the front-month contracts, marking the sharpest weekly gain since late August for both benchmarks.

Looking ahead, experts envisage potential setbacks for the oil prices in the coming weeks.

"The first quarter of 2022 looks set to see a sizeable oversupply" as oil production is expanded by OPEC+ and strategic oil reserves are released in some leading consumer countries, Carsten Fritsch, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said Monday in a note.
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