Energy stocks rally as crude oil climbs; IEA, OPEC issue divergent outlooks

SlavkoSereda

Energy stocks top Thursday’s S&P sector standings as crude oil futures climbed higher, finding support after the International Energy Agency raised its forecast for global oil demand growth.

September WTI crude oil (CL1:COM) +3.1% to $94.78/bbl, approaching its $94.98/bbl 200-day moving average, and October Brent (CO1:COM) +2.6% to $99.97/bbl.

ETFs: (NYSEARCA:XLE), (XOP), (VDE), (OIH), (IEO), (DRIP), (CRAK), (NYSEARCA:USO), (UCO), (SCO), (BNO), (DBO), (USL)

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) is the day’s top performer on the S&P 500, +6.8% to its highest level since mid-June; others scoring strong gains include (SLB) +4.6%, (PXD) +4.4%, (MRO) +4.3%, (COP) +4.2%, (OKE) +4.1%, (FANG) +3.9%, (OXY) +3.7%, (BKR) +3.7%.

Gains in all components are helping the energy sector narrow this month’s performance gap to the broader market, gaining ~5.%% this week in trimming its August loss to less than 2%.

The IEA raised its forecast for 2022 global oil demand growth by 380K bbl/day to 2.1M bbl/day, noting that high prices and limited supplies of natural gas in Europe after Russia cut exports have pushed power plants and heavy industries to look to oil as an alternative fuel source.

At the same time, OPEC cut its forecast for demand growth in 2022 by 260K bbl/day to 3.1M bbl/day – contradicting the IEA’s outlook – citing worries over COVID restrictions and geopolitical tensions.

U.S. crude oil fell nearly 10% last week, sliding near their lowest levels in six months.

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