LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Crude prices rose on Thursday, erasing the losses of the previous day, as investors adjusted their positions before OPEC + issues its decision on supplies, although the increases were limited by fears that the omicron variant affects fuel demand.
* At 1130 GMT, Brent crude futures were up $ 1.08, or 1.52%, to $ 69.90 a barrel, after losing 0.5% in the prior session.
* For their part, West Texas Intermediate futures in the United States (WTI) were up $ 1.09, or 1.65%, at $ 66.67, after losing 0.9% on Wednesday.
* World oil prices have subtracted more than $ 10 a barrel since last Thursday, when the omicron news first shook markets.
* The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, collectively known as OPEC +, are likely to decide on Thursday whether to launch more crude onto the market – as initially planned – or restrict supply. The start of the meeting is scheduled for 1300 GMT.
* Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at OANDA, said he believes declining crude prices and uncertainties surrounding omicron will lead OPEC + to temporarily halt production increases. “That can restore a modicum of stability in the oil markets,” he added.
* Market advance was limited by data showing US crude stocks fell less than expected last week.
* The report from the government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) also showed that gasoline and distillate inventories rose much more than expected, while demand weakened.