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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery shot up $2.14 to $39.55 on the New York Merc, while Brent for August added $2.31 to $42.30, its first time closing above $40 in three months (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $8.10 to WTI, down from a discount of $7.69. Natural gas for July lost four cents to $1.78. The TSX energy index added 6.76 points to close at 92.33.
Oil prices enjoyed their sixth straight week of gains (their best run since a seven-week streak in March and April, 2019) on rising optimism that the members of OPEC+ will extend their recent production cuts. They had previously agreed to cut production by 9.7 million barrels a day in May and June, tapering off to 7.7 million from July to December. Some members, notably Saudi Arabia, reportedly want to extend the 9.7-million-barrel-a-day cuts through to the end of August, while other members, notably Russia, are not up for that but would accept a one-month extension. Still other members, notably Iraq and Nigeria, have not been adhering to the cuts anyway and are being roundly upbraided by the rest of the group. Today brought the apparent achievement of some semblance of unity, with Bloomberg reporting that the members have tentatively agreed to extend the current cuts by one month. They will apparently hold a more official meeting tomorrow to ratify the arrangement.
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