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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for December delivery added 74 cents to $85.32 on the New York Merc, while Brent for December added 26 cents to $93.52 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $26.50 to WTI, up from a discount of $27.00. Natural gas for November added 41 cents to $5.61. The TSX energy index added a fraction of a point to close at 254.40.
Oil prices rose as the U.S. dollar fell to a three-week low. (A lower U.S. dollar makes oil less expensive in other currencies, bolstering demand.) Prices also got a boost from supply concerns. At an investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, suggested that countries should save their emergency oil stockpiles for potential supply shortages, rather than tapping them in a misguided attempt to manipulate prices. "Losing emergency stocks may be painful in the months to come," he warned.
The comments are being taken as a criticism of U.S. President Joe Biden, who has released more than 100 million barrels of emergency oil so far this year, seemingly to reduce fuel prices for consumers ahead of the Nov. 8 midterms. One major U.S. refiner expects the near-term drawdowns to continue. "I think you'll continue to see drawdowns at least through this year," predicted Lane Riggs, president and chief operating officer of Valero Energy Corp. (U.VLO: $126.80), during a conference call this morning. Valero has been the biggest buyer of this year's SPR releases. Today's call was held to discuss Valero's third quarter financials, which were released this morning and showed a bumper profit of $2.8-billion (U.S.) or $7.19 (U.S.) a share.
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