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Energy Summary for May 1, 2020

2020-05-01 20:23 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery got briefly above $20 for the first time in two weeks before closing at $19.78, up 94 cents, on the New York Merc, while Brent for June added $1.17 to $26.44 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $6.50 to WTI, up from a discount of $7.50. Natural gas for June lost six cents to $1.89. The TSX energy index lost 3.33 points to close at 73.86.

Today marks the first day of the new OPEC+ production-cutting pact, under which Saudi Arabia, Russia and other participating countries have agreed to cut total output by a record 9.7 million barrels a day. The production curbs are taking effect just as countries are starting to ease up on the COVID-19-related lockdowns that had torpedoed fuel demand. Even so, analysts are warning traders not to expect too much too fast. "The demand recovery will be a muted affair," predicted Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM, noting that the OPEC+ agreement "will be no panacea for the hefty supply imbalance." Senior analyst Craig Erlam at OANDA agreed and told investors to expect "extreme volatility" in oil prices over the next couple of weeks.

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