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20 Dec 2021

Oil Prices Drop More Than 2% as Rapid Omicron Spread Lowers Fuel Demand

The Index Today

Oil prices slide by more than 2% on Monday as rising cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Europe and the United States stoked investor worries that the new restrictions and countermeasures on businesses to prevent its spread may hit the demand for fuel.

Brent crude futures fell $1.92, or 2.6%, to $71.60 a barrel by 0436 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $2.09, or 3%, to $68.77 a barrel.

Kelvin Wong, market analyst at CMC Markets said, "Today's Asia ... weak sentiment in oil prices seems to go in line with a weakness seen in the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures."

"This is due to fears of impending restrictions on economic activities to contain the current increasing spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant worldwide which may increase the risk of demand slowdown."

Clay pottery with table linens
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