By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Oil was down Wednesday morning in Asia, giving up gains from earlier in the week. Investors continue to assess the impact of the omicron COVID-19 variant on fuel demand, alongside the effectiveness of current vaccines.
"After having been oversold last week on fears about the Omicron's impact, there has been a correction this week on signs that omicron may be mild," Nissan Securities) general manager of research Hiroyuki Kikukawa told Reuters.
"But investors are still not fully optimistic and are taking a wait-and-see approach until they learn about omicron's full impact," he added.
The variant can partially evade the protection afforded by two doses of the Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE )/BioNTech SE (F: 22UAy ) COVID-19 vaccine, Africa Health Research Institute head of research Alex Sigal said on Tuesday. Meanwhile, GlaxoSmithKline PLC (LON: GSK ) said on Tuesday that sotrovimab, its antibody-based COVID-19 therapy co-developed with Vir Biotechnology Inc . (NASDAQ: VIR ), is effective against all mutations of the omicron variant.
Investors also continue to monitor talks between Iran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal. Indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran resumed a week ago but broke off on Friday, and are scheduled to resume later this week.
Germany urged Iran to present realistic proposals in talks over its nuclear program, a Federal Foreign Office spokeswoman said on Monday.
Alongside the talks, investors are also monitoring tensions between Russia and Ukraine, said Kikukawa. The U.S. has reportedly secured an understanding with Germany about shutting down the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline if Russia invades Ukraine, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, Tuesday’s U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a draw of 3.089 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 30. Forecasts prepared by Investing.com predicted a 2.093-million-barrel build, while a 747,000-barrel draw was reported during the previous week.
Investors now await crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration , due later in the day.
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