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Energy Summary for March 17, 2020

2020-03-17 19:09 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery lost $1.75 to $26.95 on the New York Merc, while Brent for May lost $1.32 to $28.73, its first time closing below $30 in over four years (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $14.15 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for April lost nine cents to $1.72. The TSX energy index lost 4.87 points to close at 47.93.

Cratering oil prices and a fast-spreading global pandemic are no reason to panic, according to one of Canada's staunchest bulls. "[We] firmly believe this too shall pass," said Bank of Montreal's Brian Belski, in a new report updating his forecasts for the Canadian stock market and specifically the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Mr. Belski has been BMO's chief investment strategist since 2012 and has developed a reputation for both bullishness and accuracy. The former was on full display in the new report, as Mr. Belski left his year-end target for the S&P/TSX at 18,200, more than 5,500 points higher than today. This implies a massive rally by year-end. Although Mr. Belski cut his profit target for the S&P/TSX by 10 per cent and specifically cited the energy sector as a reason, he also reiterated his sector recommendation for energy at "overweight." Mr. Belski's forecasts tend to be attention-grabbing because, in 2016, 2017 and 2019, his year-end targets for the S&P/TSX were virtually spot on, landing within 0.1 to 1 per cent of the actual figure. He was, however, off by a wide margin of 22 per cent in 2018.

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