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MLPs: What Drove Last Week's Up and Downs

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MLPs: What Drove Last Week's Up and Downs PART 1 OF 5

What Drove MLPs’ Performance Last Week

AMZ rose 0.9% last week

MLPs had a strong start last week, driven by the crude oil rally. However, these gains were slightly offset by a decline on Friday. The Alerian MLP Index (^AMZ), which tracks the performance of 50 energy MLPs, ended in the green last week. It rose 0.9% during the week. Out of a total 96 MLPs, 73 ended in the green, one remained unchanged, and the remaining 22 ended in the red.

US crude oil ended above $49 per barrel last week, driven by the startup of refineries following Hurricane Irma and a huge gasoline inventory draw lifting some pressure from crude oil. For a recent update on crude oil prices, see Are US Crude Oil Supply and Demand Tightening?

What Drove MLPs&#8217; Performance Last Week

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Among the top MLPs by market capitalization, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), Plains All American Pipelines (PAA), and Williams Partners (WPZ) rose 1.5%, 0.7%, and 0.4% respectively while Enterprise Product Partners (EPD) ended the week 0.5% lower. We’ll look into the performance drivers for the top MLP losers and gainers and in the next part of this series.

The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP), which comprises 25 energy MLPs, rose 1.1%. The ETF outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) last week while it underperformed the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE). SPY rose 0.2% while XLE gained 1.4% last week.

Fund flows

The Alerian MLP ETF continues to see net inflows of funds. AMLP recorded a net inflow of $37.8 million last week. The fund has seen $321.3 million in net inflows since the beginning of August. On the other hand, the JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (AMJ) saw a net outflow of $57.6 million last week. Overall, AMJ has seen a net inflow of $208.2 million since August 2017.

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