New York, U.S. | Xinhua | Oil prices fell sharply on Monday as a rapid spread of the Omicron variant dampened the prospects of fuel demand.
The West Texas Intermediate for January delivery lost 2.63 U.S. dollars, or 3.7 percent, to settle at 68.23 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for February delivery decreased 2 dollars, or 2.7 percent, to close at 71.52 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
The slide came as traders worried that the spread of the Omicron variant and the reimposition of mobility restrictions in some parts of the world would dent global demand.
For the week ending Friday, the U.S. crude futures and Brent dipped 1.1 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, based on the front-month contracts.