Oil prices sink 5% on Omicron demand fears

AFP , Monday 20 Dec 2021

World oil prices fell by more than five percent on Monday, as energy demand fears grew over the fast-spreading Omicron coronavirus variant. In morning deals, Brent North Sea crude tumbled 5.1 percent to $69.79 per barrel and New York's West Texas Intermediate oil lost 5.7 percent to $66.84.

File Photo: A flame burns at the Shell Deer Park oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas. AP

The rapid spread of Omicron has slammed the oil market -- and broader global stock markets -- on concerns about economic fallout as countries revert back to containment measures.

"For crude oil, it is all about demand concerns right now," ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada told AFP.

"Travel restrictions have been tightened across most of Europe and there is the potential for more measures to be announced in the coming days.

"Traders are thus left with little choice but to sell oil, as well as energy and travel stocks, with very little appetite for risk-taking."

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