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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery added 49 cents to $75.12 on the New York Merc, while Brent for March added 45 cents to $80.10 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $26.30 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for February lost 27 cents to $3.64. The TSX energy index lost 1.09 points to close at 233.18.
Oil prices headed higher on bullish demand forecasts. In the January version of its closely watched Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecast that global consumption of liquid fuels (such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel) will rise to a record 102.2 million barrels a day in 2024, compared with 99.4 million in 2022. Meanwhile, long-time oil bull Goldman Sachs said rising demand will soon push oil prices back into the triple digits. It predicted that Brent could reach $105 (U.S.) by the fourth quarter.
Canadian oil sands giant Suncor Energy Inc. (SU) lost 53 events to $41.66 on 10.3 million shares. It had no news today, but got a less than favourable mention this morning from Wells Fargo analyst Roger Read, who downgraded the stock to "equal weight" from "overweight" and cut his price target to a barely above-market $43 from $51. While Mr. Read has a "positive outlook" on the oil and gas sector as a whole, he scolded Suncor for its "continuing poor operational performances combined with average capital investment performance at best."
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