Oil falls almost $10 in the largest daily loss since the spring of 2020

The drop in prices comes after the WHO declared a new coronavirus strain found in South Africa "a variant of concern."
Photo: Archive
Photo: Archive

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Oil prices fell almost ten dollars per barrel on Friday, recording the largest single-day drop since April 2020.

This loss comes after the discovery of a new coronavirus strain worried investors and reinforced fears of a global oil oversupply in the first quarter of 2022.

According to Reuters, oil fell with global stock markets on fears that the new virus mutation would undermine economic growth and fuel demand.

On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the find, initially called B.1.1.529, "a variant of concern" and named it Omicron.

The WHO also said that new infections of the variant appeared to be increasing in almost all of South Africa's provinces.

In addition, countries including the United States, Canada, Britain, Guatemala, and the Europeans have imposed restrictions on travel from South Africa.

In a press conference Friday evening, the country's Health Minister, Joe Phaahla, the flight bans were "unjustified."

Brent crude futures fell $9.50, or 11.6 percent, to $72.72 a barrel upon settlement, recording a weekly decline of more than eight percent.

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $10.24, or 13.1 percent, to $68.15 a barrel after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States on Thursday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in what is known as (OPEC +) are facing moves to withdraw from oil stocks led by the United States in an attempt to reduce prices.

OPEC will meet on December 2nd to determine its production policy.