What Happened in the Energy Sector Last Week?
Natural gas and gasoline led the decline
For the week ending September 8, 2017, natural gas (UNG) prices led the decline in energy commodities. Natural gas prices fell from $3.07 per MMBtu (million British thermal units) to $2.89 per MMBtu, a decrease of almost 6%. The majority of the decline in natural gas prices came on Friday when it fell ~3%. Another energy commodity that followed natural gas on the downside was unleaded gasoline (UGA). Last week, gasoline prices were down by almost 6% or from $1.75 per gallon to $1.65 per gallon.
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Crude oil and heating oil were positive
For the week ending September 8, 2017, crude oil (USO) prices rose marginally from $47.29 per barrel to $47.48 per barrel, an increase of less than one percentage point. Currently, crude oil prices are trading slightly below their 200-day moving average but above their 50-day moving average. Currently, crude oil’s 200-day and 50-day moving averages stand at $49.59 and $47.45, respectively. Heating oil turned out to be the best-performing commodity in the energy space. It increased by more than one percentage point.
With the mixed performance from energy commodities, the energy sector managed to close in the positive for the week ending September 8, 2017. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE), which represents an index of stocks across the energy sector, rose ~1%. The top gainers from XLE included heavyweights like Helmerich and Payne (HP), Halliburton (HAL), National Oilwell Varco (NOV), and ExxonMobil (XOM). These stocks rose 5.7%, 3.6%, 3.5%, and 3.0%, respectively, last week. The top losers from XLE were Range Resources (RRC), Newfield Exploration (NFX), Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), and Chesapeake Energy (CHK). These stocks lost 7.1%, 5.0%, 3.4%, and 3.2%, respectively.
In general, for the week ending September 8, XLE has outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). SPY fell marginally by 0.51% in the last week.
In this series
In this series, we’ll also take a look at the performance of various energy subsectors. Specifically, we’ll take a look at the gainers and losers from the upstream, oilfield services, and refining and marketing subsectors. We’ll also analyze news and developments behind stock moves.
In the next article, we’ll look at upstream gainers from last week.