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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery added 12 cents to $37.41 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added 20 cents to $39.99 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $7.69 to WTI, down from a discount of $7.12. Natural gas for July was unchanged at $1.82. The TSX energy index added 1.15 points to close at 85.57.
Oil prices edged higher on rumours that Saudi Arabia and Russia, the highest-profile members of OPEC+, have tentatively agreed on a one-month extension to the unprecedented production cuts that OPEC+ announced in April. The cuts are currently set to begin easing at the end of this month. Saudi Arabia, leery of undermining the tentative recovery in oil markets, has signalled interest in extending the cuts by up to three months. Russia was not on board for that but is apparently willing to accept a shorter extension. Both can agree on one thing: The OPEC+ members that have consistently failed to comply with their promised reductions must be brought in line. Iraq has been obstinate on that front, but Bloomberg reported today that there has been a breakthrough in negotiations and an extension deal could be signed as early as this weekend.
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