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Oil: Omicron fears send crude into bear market

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Crude oil is on a wild ride, entering a bear market amid new COVID-19 fears. Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre provides details.

Video transcript

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Welcome back. The Omicron scare sending crude oil into bear-market territory. Yahoo Finance's Ines Ferre here now for a recap of the day in the oil pits. Ines, it's been a wild ride for oil investors.

INES FERRE: Oh, it sure has since last Friday. So WTI crude futures for January delivery, though settled at $66.18 a barrel, officially now in a bear market. That means that over the last month-- take a look-- down 20% oil has-- WTI has been falling since its recent highs. So, so much of this has to do with the Omicron variant, the threat that the variant will have on demand.

And we saw also today this downward movement even more so accelerated down. This is after the commentary from Jay Powell talking about accelerating tapering, about-- talking about perhaps accelerating tapering. And that's when we saw US crude fall as much as 7.9%. That's 23 below its recent high, so for the first time falling below $65 per barrel for the first time since late August.

Brent Crude also lower, and a lot will be riding on what OPEC+ now does this week, if OPEC+ decides whether to continue or stop with that monthly hike that's in place. The analysts are split on that. Citigroup is expecting OPEC+ to continue adding those 400,000 barrels a day of supply when they meet on Thursday. RBC Capital says that, because of this Omicron variant and because we don't know so much about that variant and what this could do to demand, that the odds that OPEC+ may hit the pause button on that increase supply, that has gone up now because of the variant.

ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: All right, lots to cover there. Ines Ferre, thanks so much.

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