Oil prices took a hit on Wednesday, reaching their lowest level in 15 months, as investors worried about the impact of the Omicron variant on global economic growth. However, on Thursday, the markets calmed down slightly after Swiss regulators stepped in to support Credit Suisse, which had been hit by losses related to the collapse of hedge fund Archegos Capital Management.
The lifeline provided by Swiss regulators helped to ease concerns about a potential broader financial crisis and boosted investor sentiment, leading to a slight rebound in oil prices. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, rose by 0.8% to $74.29 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude futures (WTI) went up by 0.7% to $68.08 a barrel.
However, analysts warn that the situation remains uncertain, as the Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly around the world, leading to new restrictions and travel bans. The International Energy Agency has also cut its global oil demand growth forecast for 2022, citing the impact of the pandemic and higher energy prices on economic activity.
Furthermore, concerns remain about the long-term impact of the energy transition on oil demand, as countries and companies shift towards cleaner sources of energy in order to reduce their carbon footprint and address climate change.
In the short term, however, the focus remains on the immediate market conditions, which have been affected by a range of factors, including the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and supply disruptions. Investors will be watching closely for any signs of further volatility or stability in the oil market, as the situation continues to unfold.