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Oil Steady but Omicron Risks Weigh

LONDON—Oil was steady on Monday, but new concerns about the Omicron coronavirus variant and doubts around the effectiveness of vaccines against it were weighing on prices. Brent was up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $75.21 a barrel by 0947 GMT, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) gained 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $71.76 a barrel. Both benchmarks posted gains of about 8 percent last week, their first weekly gain in seven. “The major oil contracts registered decent weekly gains, but it is noticeable that current prices are still way below the pre-Omicron levels,” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. The Omicron coronavirus variant, reported in more than 60 countries, poses a “very high” global risk, with some evidence that it evades vaccine protection, the World Health Organization says. Oxford University also said vaccines showed to induce lower levels of protection against Omicron. Producers …

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