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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery edged down 43 cents to $42.24 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October lost 47 cents to $44.96 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.25 to WTI, down from a discount of $11.59. Natural gas for September added three cents to $2.18. The TSX energy index lost 1.35 points to close at 84.39.
"Stronger products demand, lower imports, falling inventories, declining production -- what's not to like?" So wrote Scotia Capital analyst Michael Loewen in a boosterish new research note, citing "substantially positive fundamentals" published this week by the U.S. Department of Energy. Imports are dropping and production has fallen by "truly enormous" volumes. While there are still some worrying signs, such as stubbornly high inventories of refined products -- potentially an indication of "lacklustre end-user demand that could develop into more problems down the line" -- Mr. Loewen is of the view that supply-demand balances are tighter than they have been in a long time.
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