Crude oil prices rise after Saudi price hike

Oil prices have risen by more than $1 dollar after Saudi Arabia raised prices for its crude oil sold to the United States and Asia.

Brent crude futures for February gained $1.69 to $71.57 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for January was up by 2.5% at $67.92 a barrel.

Saudi Arabia hiked up crude oil prices despite a decision that was taken last week by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies including Russia, to continue increasing supplies by 400,000 barrels per day in January

Crude oil prices also rose following diminishing prospects of a rise in Iranian oil exports after indirect U.S.-Iranian talks on saving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal broke down last week.

European officials had voiced dismay following sweeping demands by Iran’s new hardline government. Talks are expected to resume in the middle of this week.

Both oil benchmarks rebounded after falling last week for their sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018 on concerns that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus could impact global economic growth and fuel demand. In yet another sign of the turmoil unleashed by the global pandemic, the head of International Monetary Fund said it aims to lower its global economic growth estimates following the emergence of Omicron.

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