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Crude oil ends session in negative territory amid Omicron concerns

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Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre reports that prices for crude oil have dropped due to confirmation of the first case of the Omicron variant in the U.S.

Video transcript

KARINA MITCHELL: Welcome back to Yahoo Finance. I want to turn your attention to the oil market, now also taking a hit on the back of worries over the omicron variant that has now been detected in the US, the first case. Oil prices were actually recovering after slumping into bear market yesterday. That's as OPEC Plus began its two-day policy meeting. All eyes to see if they postpone their output hikes for the next meeting. With more on this, let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre to see how oil settled.

INES FERRE: And Karina, taking a look at WTI January futures, those settled at $65.57 a barrel, down for the day. But you can see that oil had opened in green territory and then was really paring those gains throughout the day. You had the latest data that showed that US crude inventories grew for a third straight week. You also had some headlines trickling in throughout the day, from South Africa, the health ministry saying that the variants, the omicron variant, was moving into the older population. That is too early to say that the symptoms are mild.

And then you had that headline here in the US that the first case of omicron was detected in California. And that's really what sent WTI into red territory for the day. Brent Crude also is lower. And a lot of attention is being paid now to that OPEC Plus meeting this week and whether or not OPEC Plus will continue with its supply hike or whether it will pause that supply hike because of the variant concerns and because of concerns of how much demand there will be for oil if people are not traveling as much, if there are some more restrictions that are put forward. But you can see this one-month chart that WTI had entered into bear territory this week, steady decline over the last week or so starting on Friday when WTI was down about 13%. Karina, Alexis.

KARINA MITCHELL: All right, Ines Ferre, very thank you so much for that report.

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