Energy stocks sweep to big gains as crude oil climbs back above $100 (NYSEARCA:XLE)

Energy stocks sweep to big gains as crude oil climbs back above $100 (NYSEARCA:XLE)

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Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE +3.4%) easily topped Thursday’s S&P sector standings, as U.S. benchmark oil prices reclaimed the $100/bbl mark following three straight days of decline to $95.

April WTI crude (CL1:COM) closed +8.4% at $102.98/bbl, bouncing off the lowest front-month contract settlement since February 25, and May Brent (CO1:COM) finished +8.8% at $106.64/bbl after sliding to $98 on Wednesday.

April heating out stood out among energy commodities, +12.5% at $3.487/gal, while April gasoline +7.7% at $3.217/gal.


The day’s top five gainers on the S&P 500 were all in the oil and gas group: NYSE:DVN +9.6%, OXY +9.4%, APA +7%, MRO +6.8%, FANG +6.5%.

Russia “shows absolutely no signs of halting its military offensive and should be judged on its actions not words,” RBC Capital’s Helima Croft said, adding that “Russian oil export losses will likely prove enduring and that offsetting barrels are in short supply.”

The International Energy Agency’s “stark assessment” that the market could lose 3M bbl/day of Russian oil from April have prompted supply worries, said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor.

Still, “if the Ukraine war continues to show tentative signs of easing, the dizzy heights of almost $140 for oil… are unlikely to be repeated in the immediate term,” Scholar said.

The energy sector also enjoyed a lift from Warren Buffett’s vote of confidence, as Berkshire Hathaway loaded up on more shares of Occidental Petroleum earlier this week.

Predicting a decline in Russian production at least 1M bbl/day from April, Morgan Stanley raised its Q3 Brent price forecast by $20 to $120/bbl.

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