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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added 75 cents to $38.94 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added 38 cents to $41.18 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $8.19 to WTI, down from a discount of $8.10. Natural gas for July lost two cents to $1.77. The TSX energy index lost 3.34 points to close at 91.65, losing ground despite the rise in oil prices, as Canadian oil stocks -- following two days of impressive gains that saw some stocks more than double in value -- underwent an overdue correction.
In a volatile period, there have been fewer energy stocks more volatile than erstwhile U.S. shale giant Chesapeake Energy Corp. (U:CHK). The latest twist in its head-spinning saga comes amid rumours that the company is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This will dismay many a bull from yesterday, when Chesapeake's stock rocketed up to $69.92 (U.S.) from $24.80 (U.S.) -- a 181-per-cent increase -- garnering no fewer than 22 volatility-related trading halts along the way. (These are five-minute halts triggered when stocks that are usually on the less liquid side, such as stocks that are not in the S&P 500 Index or the Russell 2000 index -- so, stocks like Chesapeake -- move 10 per cent or more from the average over the preceding five-minute period. Chesapeake's first such halt yesterday came mere seconds after the opening bell.) Today, the stock got as low as $20.16 before being halted again, ultimately closing down $46.17 (U.S.) to $23.75 (U.S.). The plunge came as unidentified sources told Bloomberg that the company is preparing a bankruptcy filing that could hand control over to senior lenders.
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