Crude oil futures edged lower in mid-morning trade in Asia Jan. 5 amid investor profit-taking after Brent crude overnight settled at its highest level since late November on an affirmation of firm oil market fundamentals by the OPEC+ producer group.

At 10:05 am Singapore time (0205 GMT), the ICE March Brent futures contract was down 27 cents/b (0.34%) from the previous close at $79.73/b, while the NYMEX February light sweet crude contract was down 24 cents/b (0.31%) at $76.75/b. OPEC and its Russia-led partners Jan. 4 approved another hike in production quotas, betting the market can absorb more oil in the coming months despite surging COVID-19 infections worldwide. In affirming a 400,000 b/d output increase for February on Jan. 4, the OPEC+ alliance signaled continued confidence that the omicron variant will have a smaller impact on global […]