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by Stockwatch Business Reporter
West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery added $1.96 to $54.50 on the New York Merc, while Brent for October added $1.15 to $58.53 (all figures in this para U.S.). Western Canadian Select traded at a discount of $12.70 to WTI, down from a discount of $12.67. Natural gas for September lost one cent to $2.12. The TSX energy index added a fraction to close at 126.73.
Though benchmark oil prices enjoyed a pleasant rise today, the wider picture is still looking grim, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The Paris-based advisory agency released its closely watched monthly energy report this morning and declared that global oil demand is rising at its slowest pace since 2008. From January to May, 2019, demand rose by 520,000 barrels a day, the lowest figure in 11 years. "The situation is becoming even more uncertain ... [and] global growth has been very sluggish in the first half of 2019," said the IEA. Its outlook is not particularly heartening. "The prospects for a political agreement between China and the United States have worsened. This could lead to reduced trade activity and less oil demand growth," said the agency. It lowered its 2019 forecast for rising oil demand to just 1.1 million barrels a day. (This is the third reduction this year, from 1.2 million previously and 1.5 million originally.) The IEA added that its outlook is "fragile, with a greater likelihood of a downward revision than an upward one."
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