Oil prices rose Friday as traders reacted with relief to the news that OPEC+ was prepared to act and potentially quickly reduce output if the omicron variant caused a dramatic drop in fuel demand. By 8:55 AM ET (1355 GMT), U.S. crude futures traded 3.1% higher at $68.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 3.1% to $71.84.
Oil prices weakened Thursday following a report that OPEC and its allies have decided to release more oil into the market as previously agreed, despite the uncertainty caused by the new Covid variant. Uncertainty had gripped the market over whether the group of top producers would follow through with the existing pact to raise output given the uncertain situation regarding the pandemic and reluctance to oversupply the market. “The short-term outlook is clouded with uncertainty and until there is some clarity on the impact of omicron it is difficult to have a strong view on price direction in the near term,” said analysts at ING, in a note.
Oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday morning after the EIA confirmed a build in both gasoline and distillate inventories