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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added $2.06 to $78.29 on the New York Merc, while Brent for February added $2.21 to $82.20 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $28.00 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for January stayed unchanged at $5.33. The TSX energy index added 6.40 points to close at 241.31.
Oil prices headed higher on bullish U.S. storage data. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported today that domestic crude inventories fell by 5.89 million barrels last week, well above analysts' predictions of a drop of 1.66 million barrels. Separately, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in an interview with the Saudi state news agency that OPEC+ made the right decision in curtailing production to try to stabilize the market. His comments prompted speculation that the group will continue to keep supplies tight.
Here in Canada, Andy Mah's Advantage Energy Ltd. (AAV) added 60 cents to $9.86 on 2.02 million shares, while Pat Carlson's Kiwetinohk Energy Corp. (KEC) added 54 cents to $14.88 on 28,100 shares. The two Alberta Montney producers got twin boosts from higher commodity prices and share buyback programs. Advantage patted itself on the back for completing a previously announced buyback for a total of $100-million, which saw shareholders tender 8.92 million shares (out of 181 million then outstanding). The tender price was $11.20. With the stock closing today at $9.86, any investors who wish to nab their shares back on the open market can do so at a discount.
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