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Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk

30 Dec 2017 9:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

2003 GMT - Net bullish bets on crude oil prices climbed in the week ended Tuesday, hovering just under all-time highs according to CFTC data. Bullish bets held by speculative investors outnumbered bearish bets by 411,972 contracts, up from a net 383,828 the previous week. Net bullish bets hit an all-time high earlier this year in data going back to 2006, at 413,637 contracts in February. Oil prices have climbed to close above $60 a barrel for the first time in two and a half years as inventories have declined and demand has picked up. (stephanie.yang@wsj.com)

1810 GMT - After nearly two decades of leftist rule that has left their country on the verge of becoming a failed state, Venezuelans appear unsure what economic model can lift them from their malaise. A new poll by DatinCorp finds 35% of respondents want neither socialism nor capitalism in the oil-dependent country. Nearly 34% said they supported a transition to a capitalist government while only 16% said Venezuela ought to continue with its so-called model of 21st century socialism. (kejal.vyas@wsj.com)

1805 GMT - Venezuela's embattled government is expanding a crusade against alleged corruption in the oil sector, targeting former workers of the OPEC offices in Austria and issuing an arrest warrant for the nation's former OPEC representative Bernard Mommer. In a news conference, the nation's attorney general also accusing former oil minister Rafael Ramirez of participating in schemes that siphoned off $4.8B in oil revenues more than a decade ago. Ramirez, who recently had a high-profile falling out with President Maduro, denies the allegations. The latest accusations come days after Maduro named a new board of directors for state oil company PdVSA, appointing a host of military officials. (kejal.vyas@wsj.com)

1549 GMT - EDF Energy Services continues to revamp and expand in the North American power market. Following the recent shake-up of its Houston trading floor, the subsidiary of conglomerate Electricite de France says it'll buy TransCanada Power Marketing's commercial contracts and assets in the northeast. TransCanada, the Canadian company behind the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline and a vast network of gas delivery lines, has been trying to wind down its power marketing business in 2017. EDF is the world's biggest electricity generator and has been actively pursuing deals to boost its US footprint. The deal significantly increases EDF's presence in North American power markets, particularly on the eastern seaboard where pipelines shortages and extreme weather can create big electricity and gas price spikes in volatile trading. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter. (lynn.cook@wsj.com; @LynnJCook)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 30, 2017 04:20 ET (09:20 GMT)

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