Crude oil prices surged on Friday amid easing concerns over impacts of the new coronavirus variant on global fuel demand. At 1255 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, gained $0.85 (+1.14 percent) to reach $75.27 a barrel. Similarly, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price reached $71.79 a barrel, up by $0.85 (+1.20 percent). The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $75.09 a barrel with an increase of 5.15 percent, Arab Light was available at $75.21 with a 2.93 percent decrease, and the price of Russian Sokol reached $75.71 with a decrease of 2.80 percent. According to experts, oil prices started to rebound on Monday last after Saudi Arabia signalled optimism about demand by hiking its official January crude oil selling prices for Asia and the United States – its biggest markets. Amid heightened worry about the course of the pandemic after the emergence of Omicron, Saudi Arabia injected a dose of confidence in markets by raising its official selling price for its flagship Arab Light to a nearly two-year high. They said the market was also relieved after early reports into Omicron showed milder symptoms, although the variant is thought to be much more transmissible. They said the investors have begun to recalibrate their assessment of the economic impact of the Omicron, setting aside the worst fears triggered by news of the heavily-mutated variant a few days ago.
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