Despite persisting dangers from the Omicron version of the coronavirus, crude oil futures rose in Asia’s mid-morning trade on Dec. 13 as risk-on optimism in the broader financial markets buoyed asset prices. The ICE February Brent futures contract was up 84 cents/b (1.12 percent) from its previous level of $75.99/b at 10:40 a.m. Singapore time (0240 GMT),
while the NYMEX January light sweet crude contract was up 92 cents/b (1.28 percent) at $72.59/b. In early trading, most Asian market indices were up, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan up 0.71 percent at 0240 GMT.
“Asian markets are poised for a bullish start, primarily reflecting Wall Street’s positive trend,” said IG market strategist Yeap Jun Rong. Oil prices were rising in lockstep with other risk assets, as investors remained confident that the Omicron type would not have the same negative impact on oil demand as had been predicted. The largely anticipated US inflation estimate on December 10 came in within forecasts, causing the US dollar index to move modestly on the day. Analysts also highlighted that US transportation traffic has reverted to pre-pandemic levels.
“Flights to the United States have returned to their 2019 levels. Highways in the United States are also at their highest congested levels since the outbreak began “According to data from Flightradar24, ANZ Research analysts Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes said in a report. The US Labor Department said on December 10 that consumer prices in November increased 6.8% year over year, the largest increase since June 1982. Despite the fact that the gauge hit new multi-year highs after October’s 6.2 percent reading, analysts claimed the amount was already priced into markets.