Crude oil futures settled sharply higher on Monday, bouncing back and regaining some ground after Friday's terrible setback, as traders looked ahead to some meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Probably, traders felt global markets over-reacted to the news about the Omicron coronavirus variant on Friday.
Oil prices plunged on Friday, weighed down by news about detection of a new variant - Omicron - in South Africa last week, and subsequent news about several countries, including the U.S., imposing fresh travel restrictions.
The World Health Organization, which held an emergency meeting on Friday, declared the new virus variant a matter of concern, noting its transmissibility.
While the WHO has said it could take weeks to understand the variant's severity, a South African doctor who has treated cases said symptoms so far seemed to be mild.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended higher by $1.80 or about 2.6% at $69.95 a barrel, after climbing to a high of $72.93 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were up $1.00 or 1.4% at $72.59 a barrel a little while ago.
The OPEC, aiming to gain time to asses the impact of Omicron, has postponed technical meetings this week. Russia seems to believe there is no need for urgent action on the market.
Traders were also focusing on talks on Iran nuclear accord, which resumed today.