Crude oil futures end sharply lower on fresh concerns about outlook for oil demand

Crude oil futures ended sharply lower on Tuesday, suffering their worst monthly decline since March 2020, on fresh concerns about the outlook for oil demand after the chief executive of Moderna Inc. warned that vaccines are likely to be less effective against the omicron variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Further, the dollar's rebound into positive territory, albeit for a brief while, further weighed on oil prices. The dollar recovered after Federal Reserve Chairman indicated the central bank could hasten a tightening of monetary policy.

Benchmark crude oil futures for January delivery dropped $3.77 or 5.4 percent to settle at $66.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for February delivery fell $3.99 or 5.5 percent to settle at $69.23 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.