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Oil futures climbed on Monday, with news that the omicron variant may not lead to severe cases of COVID-19 and Saudi Arabia's move to lift crude prices for some buyers providing support. The Saudi move "portrays confidence in the markets but it doesn't alter the uncertain outlook in any way," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. The most bullish thing for oil prices is that omicron is "reportedly less severe and if more good news follows, we can all relax a little and the downside risks to the economy will abate." January West Texas Intermediate crude CLF22, +1.02% rose $3.23, or 4.9%, to settle at $69.49 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.