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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery added 63 cents to $64.61 on the New York Merc, while Brent for June added $1.12 to $71.73 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $8.22 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for May was unchanged at $2.70. The TSX energy index added 2.77 points to close at 162.65.
Oil bulls had one of their strongest days in months. They easily brushed off U.S. crude inventory reports that showed an unexpectedly high rise of about seven million barrels last week, compared with analysts' forecasts of just 2.3 million barrels. Stockpiles are now at their highest levels since November, 2017. This would normally draw out the price pessimists, but it seems that traders today focused on the happier headlines. Notably, OPEC's production in March dropped to a four-year low, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration has bumped its 2019 price forecasts for both WTI and Brent. Here in Canada, oil producers enjoyed the ride. Big gainers included Baytex Energy Corp. (BTE), up 36 cents to $2.81, Whitecap Resources Inc. (WCP), up 41 cents to $5.75, and Crescent Point Energy Corp. (CPG), up 33 cents to $5.35.
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