Oil Futures Settle Sharply Higher Ahead Of Inventory Data

Crude oil prices moved sharply higher on Tuesday, lifting the most active crude futures contract to the highest settlement in about two months.

Hopes that the spread of the Omicron variant will not derail the global economy and adversely impact energy demand supported oil prices.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said today that he expects the economic impact of the new variant to be short-lived and that upcoming quarters may be positive for the economy.

The recent outages in Libya and a weak U.S. dollar also contributed to the increase in oil prices.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures for February ended up by $2.99 or about 3.8% at $81.22 a barrel, the highest settlement since November 11, 2021.

Brent crude futures are up $2.96 or 3.7% at $83.83 a barrel.

Traders now await the weekly inventory reports from the American Petroleum Institute (API) and U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The API's report is due later today, while the EIA will release its inventory data Wednesday morning.

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