Oil and tourism stocks at risk on Omicron fears, sharp drop in oil prices

Tourism and Oil and Gas stocks are at risk of steep declines following travel bans and restrictions introduced on the back of Omicron variant fears.

The omicron strain of the virus, which was predicted to be more virulent than previous strains, was first reported in the southern parts of Africa and labeled a variant of concern by the World Health Organization last week.

The variant has caused travel bans imposed by the European Union, the United States and various other countries to travellers coming from the affected areas of Africa. Thailand has also said it would impose a travel ban beginning on December 1.

These fears led to the single largest one day fall in oil prices on Friday with global oil prices plunging up to ten per cent. The commodity was trading at $73.45 US per barrel by early Saturday Thailand time.

Ironically, the United States and several other countries had for weeks pushed for the release of strategic oil reserves to help ease supply concerns and lower growing oil prices.

The downturn in sentiment reversed weeks of positive speculation in both the oil and gas and hospitality sector as countries slowly opened their borders following two years of covid-imposed restrictions.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters that his country would toughen up Covid entry rules for all arrivals on Sunday.

Thailand, too, announced that it would impose restrictions on travellers arriving from Africa and Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources told Thai Enquirer that other restrictions would be up for review – especially from countries where the Omicron strain was detected.

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