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.
“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 the United States, the rapid spread of the Omicron variant has led some companies to pause plans to get workers back into offices.
“Crude may remain in a holding pattern, albeit with plenty of price volatility around the mean, in holiday-thinned trading over the next couple of weeks.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allies, together known as OPEC+, have said they could meet ahead of their scheduled 4 January meeting if changes in the demand outlook warrant a review of their plan to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January.