The oil prices had their worst day in 17 months on Friday, hit hard by the emergence of a new coronavirus variant, which casts doubts on the trajectory of the world economy.
The barril de West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January lost 13.06% in New York at $ 68.15. Since April 2020, when it reached negative prices, there has not been a drop of such magnitude. The WTI It returned in one day to the level of the beginning of September.
In London, the barrel of North Sea Brent for January it yielded 11.55% to 72.72 dollars.
The movement is directly linked to the discovery in South Africa of a new coronavirus variant, baptized this Friday as Omicron by WHO, who described it as “worrying”.
“Even without drastic restrictions” likely to limit the spread of the virus“People will be more cautious and that will weigh on demand” for crude, estimated Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research (SEER).
Various European countries and USA flights from the south of Africa to try to contain the advance of Omicron.
“I am surprised by the scale of this decline, because it is still too early to know what the impact will be and if the vaccines they will or will not be effective, “commented the analyst.
According to Reuters and Bloomberg agencies, the OPEC and its allies within the Opep + They plan to modify their production increase schedule in reaction to the appearance of this new variant.
The monthly meeting of this alliance is scheduled for Thursday.