Take Stock – September 8

Oil prices clung near US$68 a barrel for a fourth day Monday in Asia as investors looked to this week’s OPEC meeting for a possible change in the cartel’s production.

Oil steady at $68 in Asia

Oil prices clung near US$68 a barrel for a fourth day Monday in Asia as investors looked to this week’s OPEC meeting for a possible change in the cartel’s production.

Benchmark crude for October delivery was up 33 cents at $68.35 a barrel by late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract Friday rose 6 cents to settle at $68.02. Trading volume was light in Asia on Monday ahead of the Labour Day holiday in the U.S. Traders are eyeing Wednesday’s meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna. OPEC President Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos, who is also Angola’s oil minister, said last week that the 12-member group will likely keep output quotas unchanged.

Recovery in Quebec, Ontario depends on United States

Any economic recovery in Quebec and Ontario will be closely linked to that of the U.S., says an economist with Canada’s largest financial co-operative group.

Mouvement Desjardins’ Joelle Noreau says there’s been no clear recovery in Quebec despite 8,300 new jobs created in the province in August. Quebec’s unemployment rate continued to rise to 9.1 per cent last month from 9 per cent in July.

Noreau says there needs to be conclusive and steady growth in the U.S. economy before Quebecers see improvement. She notes the province has close ties with the U.S. in sectors heavily affected by the recession, notably manufacturing, transport and aeronautics. The economist says Ontario faces a similar situation.

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