Oil derrick pumps operate at the Inglewood Oil Field in Culver City, California, on Sunday, July 11, 2021.

Oil prices jumped on Monday as traders bet that Friday’s sharp sell-off, prompted by fears that the new omicron Covid variant will curb demand for petroleum products, was overdone.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. oil benchmark, gained $3.31, or 5.3%, to trade at $71.48 per barrel at about 8:15 a.m. on Wall Street. The move puts the contract back above $70, after it broke below that key level on Friday.

WTI tumbled 13% on Friday for its worst day since April 2020, and also closed below its 200-day moving average — a closely-followed technical indicator — for the first time since November 2020.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, advanced 4.3% on Monday to $75.90. The contract declined 11.55% on Friday, and along with WTI registered a fifth straight week of losses.

“Friday’s price slide was excessive,” said analysts at Commerzbank. “Admittedly, the omicron variant is fueling concerns about demand, but it is not yet possible to put any serious figure on what effect this will genuinely have on demand,” the firm added.

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