Oil prices increased on Tuesday, but concerns remain over anticipated lower global oil demand from surging COVID-19 omicron variant cases and the potential adoption of more restrictive measures.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $72.16 per barrel at 0700 GMT for a 0.89% increase after closing the previous session at $71.52 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $69.47 per barrel at the same time for a 1.25% gain after trade ended at $68.61 a barrel in the previous session.
American firm Moderna said on Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine appeared to protect against the omicron variant in laboratory testing, providing some hope of economic recovery and support to the oil market.
A 50 microgram booster dose produced a 37-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies, the company said in a statement.
The results add to a growing body of evidence that three shots will be needed to neutralize the fast-spreading variant.
Earlier this month, Pfizer-BioNTech also claimed that a third shot of their vaccine neutralizes the omicron variant.
However, oil markets are cautious over the rapid spread of omicron globally on global economies, as more countries consider imposing restrictions.
According to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus more than 3.3 million people have lost their lives to COVID-19 this year.
Tedros also said 'there is now consistent evidence that omicron is spreading significantly faster than the delta variant.'
Investors are now awaiting US crude oil inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute that will be released later in the day.
By Firdevs Yuksel