WTI crude futures dive on concerns over COVID-19 vaccine efficacy

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NEW YORK, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. oil prices lost 5.39 percent on Tuesday as concerns over COVID-19 variant Omicron had lingering impact on the market.

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel's bearish comments on the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron on Monday triggered renewed concerns about demand destruction from the newly discovered variant.

Scientists are pessimistic about the efficacy of the current COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron and there could be a "material drop" of the efficacy rate in regard, Bancel said in an interview with the Financial Times.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for January delivery tanked 3.77 U.S. dollars to settle at 66.18 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

A new wave of lockdowns could result in up to 3 million barrels per day of oil demand lost in the first quarter of 2022 as governments prioritize health safety over reopening plans, according to Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy.

World oil demand growth in 2022 will remain strong, but supply will likely rise to meet it, said Mehran Nakhjavani, a partner of emerging markets with the MRB Partners on Tuesday.

Oil prices are more likely to return to a range of 60 dollars to 70 dollars per barrel next year, rather than to rise further from current elevated levels, said Nakhjavani in a research note.

The resumption of Iran nuclear talks aimed at reviving the 2015 nuclear deal on Monday after a hiatus of more than five months also raised the possibility of more Iranian oil exports and weighed on market sentiment. Enditem

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