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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost $3.05 to $76.93 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February lost $2.89 to $82.68 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $28.50 to WTI, down from a discount of $27.50. Natural gas for January lost 70 cents to $5.58. The TSX energy index lost 7.40 points to close at 249.53.
Oil prices foundered in a sea of mixed headlines. Early in the session, prices headed sharply higher, supported by European sanctions on Russian crude (which took effect today) and the decision by OPEC+ to stick to its existing production curbs (as announced Sunday). Several Chinese cities also began easing COVID restrictions over the weekend, boosting hopes of higher fuel demand. Later in the session, however, oil prices abruptly reversed course, ending the day lower after U.S. employment data came in stronger than expected. This led to worries that the Federal Reserve will continue its aggressive interest rate hikes as it seeks to rein in inflation.
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