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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery added 65 cents to $76.75 on the New York Merc, while Brent for January added 81 cents to $79.70 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $19.45 to WTI, down from a discount of $19.19. Natural gas for December lost 28 cents to $4.79. The TSX energy index added 1.36 points to close at 161.29.
Oil prices dropped to a seven-week low in early trading this morning, on rumours that the governments of the United States, Japan and India are all looking into releasing national oil reserves. Then prices rebounded over the rest of the day, on rumours that OPEC+ would respond to any such releases by clawing back its own supplies. "OPEC is sending a signal that if [the governments] do this, they have some barrels they can withhold and will offset the impact of a release," Phil Flynn, senior analyst at the Chicago-based Price Futures, told Reuters. None of the rumours have been verified. On the demand side, prices remained under pressure from renewed European lockdowns. Austria entered its fourth lockdown today and Germany is considering fresh curbs as well.
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