Oil Rallies Above $75 A Barrel As Omicron Concerns Ease

The price of oil has moved back above $75 U.S. a barrel as concerns about the Omicron variant of COVID-19 ease and demand improves.

Futures in New York advanced beyond $71 U.S. and in London topped $75 U.S. as equity markets continue to rally. Specifically West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil climbed 3.1% to $71.66 U.S. a barrel, while Brent crude oil for February settlement rose 2.7% to $75.05 U.S.

Initial data shows that the surge in Omicron cases hasn’t overwhelmed hospitals and that the variant of COVID-19 does not produce severe symptoms in people who are infected by it.

Also, in China, oil imports rose to a three-month high in November after refiners were allocated new quotas, according to government data. Overall exports also hit a record as external demand surged ahead of year-end holidays.

While crude oil prices slumped into a bear market territory last week, prices have been steadily strengthening since then as the demand hit from Omicron has so far been limited.

Citigroup (NYSE:C) said in a note to clients that it is bullish oil prices in the short-term and Saudi Arabia’s move on Sunday to increase the cost of its crude for January gave the market confidence that the consumption outlook would remain robust.