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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery lost $1.76 to $85.15 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March lost 49 cents to $87.89 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.70 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February added 20 cents to $4.00. The TSX energy index lost 6.54 points to close at 183.36.
Oil prices fell today, but still notched their fifth consecutive week of gains. A rising chorus on Wall Street sees them heading even higher. This morning, Morgan Stanley hiked its Brent oil price prediction to $100 (U.S.) for the last two quarters of the year, up from its prior forecast of $90 (U.S.) in the third quarter and $87.50 (U.S.) in the fourth quarter. The bank joins several others in forecasting triple-digit oil this year, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan. The latter, in fact, released a separate note today, reiterating its prediction that Brent will get as high as $120 (U.S.) as quickly as midyear.
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