Thursday, 20 January, 2022
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Oil prices climbs to fresh 4-week high

Oil prices climbs to fresh 4-week high

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NEW YORK: Oil rose from the highest settlement in four weeks as traders weighed falling U.S. crude stockpiles against the threat to demand from the omicron virus variant.

Futures in New York traded above $73 a barrel, though liquidity is dwindling heading into the holiday period. U.S. crude inventories dropped by 4.72 million barrels last week, according to government data, almost twice the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. That offset some concerns about the impact of the omicron variant on global consumption, report agencies.

Trading volumes are starting to thin before Christmas, while open interest—the total number of oil contracts held by traders—for crude, gasoline and diesel futures combined is at its lowest in almost six years. Both could leave the market prone to sharp moves amid thin liquidity.

Oil is heading for an annual gain following a strong rebound from the pandemic, but there are bearish headwinds mounting for the market including the omicron strain.