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Energy Summary for May 8, 2020

2020-05-08 20:25 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery had a solid end to the week, adding $1.19 to $24.74 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July added $1.51 to $30.97 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $5.12 to WTI, down from a discount of $4.87. Natural gas for June lost seven cents to $1.82. The TSX energy index added 1.97 points to close at 75.35.

If energy companies were left feeling underwhelmed by the financial support proposed by Ottawa -- with the timing, the amounts, the eligibility criteria and other aspects coming under fire by several industry proponents, large and small -- well, now they can feel underwhelmed by the rhetorical support, too. The Green Party's Elizabeth May kicked off a kerfuffle when she proclaimed, "Oil is dead," earlier this week. That is old hat for her, but at this fraught moment in history, she struck a nerve with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. "Stop kicking us while we're down," he demanded. He defended the energy sector as having done "more than any [sector] in modern Canadian history to create jobs and prosperity [and] fund social programs and government services." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, informed that Ms. May was up to her old tricks, had a golden opportunity to stand up for an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians and contributes 10 per cent of the GDP. The best he could muster up in the face of "Oil is dead" was, "I don't share that assessment." He then called the energy industry "essential" -- not for anything like the reasons Mr. Kenney listed, but rather in the pursuit of "transforming our economy towards lower emissions and clean processes." That is cold comfort to a sector experiencing one of its worst downturns in history.

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