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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added 98 cents to $115.07 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July added $2.03 to $119.43 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $18.00 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for July lost 17 cents to $8.73. The TSX energy index added 4.38 points to close at 270.48.
Oil prices climbed to their highest levels in 11 weeks, as North Americans headed into the unofficial start of the summer driving season (the U.S. Memorial Day long weekend). U.S. gasoline stockpiles are at their lowest seasonal level in eight years. At a meeting today in Berlin, ministers from the G7 group of economies urged OPEC -- and other oil-producing countries, but largely OPEC -- to "act in a responsible manner" and help curb oil prices by rapidly increasing production. OPEC has resisted calls like these for months. The group will hold its next monthly meeting on June 2.
Here in Canada, oil companies continued to enjoy the windfall of high prices. Oil sands producer Cenovus Energy Inc. (CVE) hit a new 52-week high, adding 62 cents to $28.80 on 16.5 million shares. It announced this week that it is using some of its extra money to redeem an entire batch of 3.55 per cent notes due in 2025. According to SEDAR, the notes had a balance of $750-million as of March 31.
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