Oil prices rebounded from Friday’s omicron-driven rout on speculation that OPEC+ may decide this week to pause output increases in response to the spread of the new COVID-19 variant.
Brent crude futures was up $3.11, or 4.3%, to $75.83 a barrel by 03:55 GMT, after plummeting $9.50 on Friday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed $3.47, or 5.1%, at $71.62 a barrel, having plunged $10.24 in last week's final session.
Oil prices plummeted more than 10% on Friday – their biggest one-day drop since April 2020 — as the new variant, Omicron, alarmed investors across financial markets.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it was not yet clear whether the new variant, first detected in South Africa, is more transmissible or dangerous than other variants.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) have postponed technical meetings to later this week, giving them a chance to assess the impact of the Omicron on oil demand and prices, according to OPEC+ sources and documents.
OPEC’s joint ministerial monitoring committee who were supposed to meet on Tuesday postponed their meeting to Thursday. OPEC+ will also meet on Thursday, when a policy decision will likely be announced on whether to adjust its plan to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day in starting January 2022.
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