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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery added 91 cents to $64.49 on the New York Merc, while Brent for July added 80 cents to $67.56 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $11.75 to WTI, up from a discount of $11.90. Natural gas for June added four cents to $2.97. The TSX energy index added 3.72 points to close at 121.63.
The first trading day of May was good to oil prices, as optimism about vaccine rollouts and rising fuel demand overshadowed concerns about continuing COVID-19 lockdowns. With peak travel season approaching, analysts have increased their forecasts for Brent oil prices for the fifth month in a row, according to a new poll from Reuters.
Here in Canada, two of the top five most active traders on the TSX were oil juniors. Athabasca Oil Corp. (ATH) came in first place, adding 10 cents to 70 cents on 31 million shares, while Gear Energy Ltd. (GXE) (in fifth place) shot up 16 cents to 68 cents on 14.3 million shares. By contrast, their average trading volume in April was 3.90 million shares and 1.48 million shares, respectively. Neither had any news to explain today's excitement. They may still be enjoying their so-called "BNN bump" from Friday, when Gear and Athabasca -- along with Cardinal Energy Ltd. (CJ), up 28 cents to $2.98 on a heavier-than-usual 4.07 million shares -- were singled out on BNN as the top three picks of energy fund manager Eric Nuttall of Ninepoint Partners.
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