Oil climbs over 2% ahead of OPEC meeting amid Omicron concerns

Oil climbs over 2% ahead of OPEC meeting amid Omicron concerns

Oil prices rose more than 2% on Wednesday, recouping some of the steep losses from the previous session, as major producers prepared to discuss how to respond to the threat of a hit to fuel demand from the Omicron variant.

Brent crude futures rose $1.90, or 2.7%, to $71.13 a barrel at 0504 GMT, after a 3.9% slump on Tuesday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.71, or 2.6%, to $67.89 a barrel, after a 5.4% drop on Tuesday.

While some analysts expect OPEC+ to pause plans to add 400,000 barrels per day of supply in January in light of the potential hit to demand from travel curbs to rein in the spread of the Omicron variant, several OPEC+ ministers have said there was no need to change course, Reuters reported.

Even if OPEC+ agrees to go ahead with its planned supply increase in January, producers may struggle to add that much.

In a sign of bearish demand, data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 747,000 barrels in the week ended Nov. 26, according to market sources, which was a smaller decline than expected.

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