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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery added $1.99 to $46.75 on the New York Merc, rallying after last week's stomach-churning drop, while Brent for May added $1.38 to $51.90 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $13.55 to WTI, up from a discount of $13.95. Natural gas for April added seven cents to $1.76. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 115.34.
This year was supposed to be for the oil patch. According to analysts, academics and pundits galore, after a prolonged downturn, 2020 was the year in which Canadian pipeline constraints would ease, streamlined producers would showcase their increasingly efficient and profitable operations, and the world would hail our superior oil and demand ever-rising volumes. How different it all seems just two months into the year. Against a backdrop of a fast-spreading virus fuelling fears of slowing oil demand, the last few weeks have seen the cancellation of a $20-billion oil sands megaproject (Teck Resources' Frontier), in addition to anti-pipeline protests so vigorous their economic toll could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
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