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Energy Summary for July 4, 2024

2024-07-04 18:47 ET - Market Summary

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by Stockwatch Business Reporter

U.S. markets were closed for Independence Day. West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery added 18 cents to $84.06 in electronic trading on the New York Merc, while Brent for September added nine cents to $87.43 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $16.90 to WTI, down from a discount of $16.70. Natural gas for August lost four cents to $2.38. The TSX energy index added a fraction of a point to close at 290.28.

Oil prices held steady in muted holiday trading. Bearish economic data out of Germany and the United States spurred concerns about oil demand in the largest economies in Europe and the world, respectively. This was balanced by boosterish price forecasts, with Swiss bank UBS joining the list of forecasters that Brent will hit $90 (U.S.) over the summer.

Here in Canada, the federal Competition Bureau has vowed to clarify its controversial new anti-greenwashing rules "on an accelerated basis." As discussed on June 20 and 21, a new bill requires companies to be able to substantiate climate-related claims using "internationally recognized methodology" -- a benign-sounding requirement, but one that fails to specify what the methodologies might be, who must do the recognizing, and how to react to problems such as a lack of methodology in some cases or an array of inconsistent methodologies in others. Defenders say the vagueness is intentional because it leaves room for future methodologies. Critics say the vagueness creates not just uncertainty but downright risk. The new rules allow private parties (not just federal watchdogs) to try to haul companies before a tribunal for any perceived rule-breaking, and with the rules being so vague, agitators could seize upon virtually anything to drag targets through frivolous but costly disputes.

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