Lower demand pushes global oil prices down

Global oil prices fell on Monday fueled by concerns of rising omicron variant cases worldwide, resulting in lowering oil demand expectations.

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $71.21 per barrel at 0740 GMT for a 3.14% decrease after closing the previous session at $73.52 a barrel.

American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $68.28 per barrel at the same time for a 3.64% loss after trade ended at $70.86 a barrel in the previous session.

Reports of the spread of the new variant are suppressing economic recovery with travel restrictions and lockdowns now put in place in many countries.

The Netherlands went into lockdown on Sunday ahead of the holiday season to prevent the further spread of the variant.

The Israeli Ministry of Health recommended the addition of 10 countries, including Turkey and the US, to a no-fly list in the travel table.

US President Joe Biden is due to announce his new strategies to combat the virus as the number of cases has reached a record level in New York and New Jersey and the capital Washington DC.

Health officials in the US urged people to get booster shots and wear masks while entering the holiday season.

The variant has also surfaced for the first time in Iran and Ukraine, while Spain has become one of the most high-risk countries due to the increasing case numbers.

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