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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 56 cents to $48.52 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added 27 cents to $57.33 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.33 to WTI, up from a discount of $12.64. Natural gas for February lost 10 cents to $2.94. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 144.59.
EnCana Corp. (ECA) reached an intraday high of $8.61 before retreating to a close of $8.33, unchanged from yesterday, on 11.7 million shares. The company was in the news this weekend after a Globe and Mail investigation revealed that its U.S. unit has made sizable recent donations to U.S. Super PACs, or political action committees, a popular term for groups organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. The Globe found that the U.S. subsidiaries of at least 17 Canadian companies donated more than $2-million (U.S.) to Super PACs and candidates over the last two years. Such donations came amid "one of the most toxic midterm election campaigns in American history ... [tying the] Canadian firms to incendiary, hyperpartisan political campaigning they would likely never support north of the border." EnCana's U.S. unit was found to have donated $300,000 (U.S.) to two Republican groups that ran attack ads against Democrats, such as an ad in Iowa that warned of "criminal illegal immigrants" descending on the state if voters elected a Democrat to Congress. Although EnCana did not respond to questions about why it made the donations, the Globe noted that Republicans tend to favour pipelines and looser environmental regulations.
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