Oil prices head for weekly loss on Omicron coronavirus uncertainty

Oil prices dipped on Friday, putting the market on track for a narrow weekly loss, as surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant raised fears new curbs may hit fuel demand, while a weaker dollar supported commodity markets broadly, Investing.com reports.

Brent crude futures fell 59 cents, or 0.8%, to $74.43 a barrel at 0707 GMT while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped 67 cents, or 0.9%, to $71.71 a barrel. Brent is headed for a 1% loss this week, while WTI is poised to finish the week nearly flat.

"Look at what's happening with Omicron - that's a negative which people are trying to digest," said Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar. "Are we going to be in line for some new restrictions? That's what the market's trying digest."

In Denmark, South Africa and the United Kingdom, the number of new Omicron cases has been doubling every two days. Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Thursday warned the government may impose further curbs to limit the spread of Omicron.

In the United States, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led some companies to pause plans to get workers back into offices.

Tags: oil, USA, jet fuel, oil production, coronavirus, price, petroleum products, gasoline, diesel, oil reserves, consumers, Africa, Europe

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