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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery, after yesterday's unprecedented plunge into negative territory, added $46.49 to get back on the positive side of the ledger and close at $9.06 on the New York Merc (all figures in this para U.S.) (see yesterday's Energy Summary for more details on this subject). The May contract expired at the close today. The more actively traded June contract, which provides a better sense of how traders are viewing the market, plunged $8.86 to $11.57. Brent for June lost $6.24 to $19.33 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $10.75 to WTI, unchanged. Natural gas for May lost 10 cents to $1.82. The TSX energy index lost a fraction to close at 61.39.
Following yesterday's plunge into negative territory for oil futures, calls for Ottawa to step in with its long-promised aid for the energy sector are growing more insistent. "Hundreds of thousands of Canadian jobs are on the line," Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told a press briefing. The $1.7-billion that was promised by Ottawa last week for abandoned well cleanup will support only a few thousand jobs. What the sector really needs to survive the next 12 to 18 months, said Mr. Kenney, is "a significant package of credit backstop, which we believe needs to be in the range of $15- to $30-billion." ("Credit backstop" is a fuzzy term, but Mr. Kenney is presumably suggesting that Ottawa should guarantee loans made by financial institutions to energy companies for liquidity.)
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