2021.12.0309:12:00UTC+00Oil Extends Gains After OPEC+ Decision

Oil extended overnight gains after OPEC+ agreed to stick to their existing policy of monthly oil output increases but left room for quick adjustments if the Omicron variant hits demand.

Benchmark Brent crude futures for February delivery climbed 2.7 percent to $71.55 a barrel while WTI crude futures for January settlement were up 2.5 percent at $68.14.

Investors turned bullish after OPEC and its allies, collectively known as OPEC+, decided to stick to their plant to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day in January, in a sign of the group's belief in firm market fundamentals.

A statement from OPEC+ noted the meeting would "remain in session" so producers could "make immediate adjustments if required."

The alliance said in a communique following a meeting on Thursday that it stood ready to reconvene "pending further developments of the pandemic, and [to] continue to monitor the market closely and make immediate adjustments if required."

Market jitters over the emergence of Omicron Covid-19 variant also faded after scientists in South Africa said most cases of the new Covid-19 strain appeared to be mild in general.

Elsewhere in the United States, all three people with confirmed cases have had mild symptoms, helping cement the view that the new Covid-19 variant will not be as deadly as earlier stains.

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