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What Impacted the Energy Sector Last Week?

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Energy subsector ETFs

In the week ending March 22, major energy subsector ETFs had the following performances:

  • The Alerian MLP ETF (AMLP) rose 1.7%.
  • The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) rose 1%.
  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF (OIH) fell 0.2%.
  • The VanEck Vectors Oil Refiners ETF (CRAK) fell 0.5%.
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Factors impacting the energy subsector

Last week, US crude oil futures rose 0.4%. XOP rose with the gains in oil prices. The Fed’s decision not to hike key interest rates on March 20 might have helped AMLP outperform these energy ETFs. The Brent-WTI spread fell by 35 cents last week. On March 21, the spread was at the lowest level since February 1. US downstream stocks account for ~30.1% of CRAK and could be impacted by another fall in the Brent-WTI spread.

Energy sector performance

Last week, US crude oil April futures rose 0.4%, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) fell 0.1%. XLE had the lowest decline among the sector-specific SPDR ETFs under review. Apart from the weakness in oil prices, the S&P Index (SPY) fell 0.8% in the week ending March 22. These factors might have pulled down XLE’s returns.

Last week, the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY) rose 1%—the largest rise among the sector-specific SPDR ETFs. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) fell 4.8%—the largest decline among the sector-specific SPDR ETFs.

Most of the sector-specific SPDR ETFs closed in the red last week.

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