Oil Prices Little Changed After Rally

Oil prices were little changed on Wednesday after a sharply rally in the previous session on supportive U.S. Fed remarks.

Benchmark Brent crude futures slipped 0.1 percent to $83.61 a barrel, while WTI crude futures were up 0.1 percent at $81.31.

Both contracts rose about 4 percent on Tuesday, with the most active crude futures contract settling at the highest level in about two months after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said 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 new Covid variant Omicron might play a key role in determining how crude oil prices move in the coming days. As of now, analysts say that the variant is more transmissible but less severe.

The World Health Organization has warned that half of Europe will have caught the Omicron Covid variant within the next six to eight weeks.

The United States is approaching the "threshold" of transitioning to living with the coronavirus as a manageable disease, top American scientist Anthony Fauci said.

China is enforcing zero Covid policy to eliminate Covid-19 outbreak before Lunar New Year and the Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.

Meanwhile, the American Petroleum Institute reported a 1.08 million-barrel draw in U.S. crude oil inventories for the previous week, though gasoline and distillate stocks saw large builds.

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