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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added $1.61 to $116.87 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added $1.32 to $117.61 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $18.01 to WTI, down from a discount of $17.40. Natural gas for July lost 21 cents to $8.49. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 273.65.
OPEC+ will offer relief to tightened oil markets, if only modest relief. At its closely watched monthly meeting today, the group -- which comprises OPEC countries, such as Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC countries, such as Russia -- agreed to boost production by 648,000 barrels a day in both July and August. These are increases over the previously planned output boosts of 432,000 barrels a day.
The meeting fell short of some traders' hopes. In particular, the days leading up to the meeting had brought speculation (published in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere) that OPEC+ was exploring the idea of suspending Russia's participation in the group, in reaction to the European Union's partial ban on Russian energy imports. This could allow the group's other members to boost production significantly to fill the gap. While the United States and Europe would be pleased with such a move, it could jeopardize the group's relations with Moscow once Russian production eventually bounces back.
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