Displaying items by tag: energy

Sunday, 14 July 2024 13:44

Energy Boost From Falling Rates

Crude oil futures climbed on Thursday, buoyed by easing inflation data. The consumer price index dropped 0.1% in June, reducing the annual rate to 3%, which raised hopes for Federal Reserve interest rate cuts in September. 


Lower interest rates typically boost economic growth, potentially increasing oil demand. Meanwhile, mixed signals on global oil demand emerged, with the International Energy Agency forecasting slower growth compared to OPEC's more optimistic outlook. 


West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude both saw price increases, while natural gas prices fell. Overall, the oil future looks fairly positive with potential increased demand. 

Finsum: It is potentially shaping up to be a strong fall for energy prices if we see a rate hike.

Published in Eq: Energy
Thursday, 04 July 2024 05:19

Natural Gas Demand Remains High

China has firmly established itself as the third-largest gas market globally, trailing only the US and Russia, and surpassing the EU. As China’s gas demand grows, suppliers see it as increasingly significant compared to the declining European market. 


The EU’s dependency on foreign gas producers, with its push towards biogas and biomethane falling short, complicates its supply security. Despite EU's efforts, its domestic gas production continues to decline, increasing its reliance on imports, with spot LNG providing critical equilibrium between Asia and Europe. 


Europe faces high gas prices and volatility due to limited global production capacity and logistical constraints. Recent geopolitical events and sanctions, including Uniper’s termination of Russian gas contracts and the EU's 14th sanction package against Russia, further challenge Europe's gas supply dynamics.

Finsum: Natural gas will definitely see policy volatility due to the upcoming election, but for the meantime China is keeping demand high. 

Published in Eq: Energy
Tuesday, 04 June 2024 07:53

ConocoPhillips to Acquire Marathon Oil

M&A activity in the energy sector continues at full speed. The latest deal involves ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $22.5 billion in an all-stock deal that is expected to close in the fourth quarter. Each Marathon shareholder will receive 0.255 shares of Conoco for every share of Marathon, equating to a 15% premium to its price prior to the deal’s announcement.

Last October, ExxonMobil and Chevron completed similar acquisitions of Occidental Petroleum and Diamondback Energy for $60 billion and $53 billion, respectively. The motive for these deals is identical, as the oil majors are looking to scoop up prime North American energy-rich territory. Further, energy companies have enjoyed years of robust cash flow during the post-pandemic period, which they’ve used to pay off debt, return cash to shareholders, and make acquisitions.

According to Conoco CEO Ryan Lance, the deal will strengthen the company’s portfolio of assets and increase its supply of ‘high-quality, low-cost inventory’. He has also said that consolidation is ‘the right thing to be doing for our industry’. Since the Exxon and Chevron deals, there have been rumors of a competitive bidding process between Devon Energy and Conoco for Marathon. Previously, Conoco had lost out to Diamondback Energy as both were vying for Endeavor Energy Resources, a private producer in the Permian Basin.


Finsum: The M&A spree in the energy sector continues with ConocoPhillips buying Marathon Oil for $22.5 billion. 

Published in Eq: Energy
Saturday, 25 May 2024 11:38

Opportunities Amid the Energy Transition

The world is slowly transitioning to renewable energy. For institutional investors, this transition is likely to bring many investment opportunities. Of course, this will be a slow process that will take place over decades.  

The first step is the displacement of coal by natural gas, which is cleaner in terms of emissions and has already begun in many parts of the world, including the US. Another essential step is investing in various clean energy segments such as batteries, transmission and distribution, utilities, and renewable generation equipment. 

Many countries are recognizing energy security as a national security concern, which is also leading to supportive policies and capital flows. Countries are investing in electrification and local manufacturing in key areas like semiconductors, energy production, and storage. 

As the world moves toward net-zero emissions by 2050, companies in many parts of the economy will have to invest in decarbonization efforts. Morningstar sees opportunities for investors who understand the transition’s impact on the economy and various industries.

Capital expenditure for clean energy is expected to reach between $4 trillion and $5 trillion per year by the end of the decade. However, due to the transition taking place over a multi-decade period, investors should also have sufficient patience, anticipate volatility, and manage risk throughout the cycle. 


Finsum: We are in the early stages of a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. There will be plenty of opportunities for investors to earn healthy returns, given the size and scale of the trend.

Published in Eq: Energy
Thursday, 09 May 2024 12:56

Will Energy Sector Strength Continue?

Energy has been one of the best-performing sectors YTD with a 10% gain. Energy prices have moved higher due to increased geopolitical uncertainty and strong economic data. Looking ahead, LPL remains bullish on energy and recommends overweighting the sector.

It notes that valuations are quite attractive, especially with producers focusing on cash flow in recent years. In the post-pandemic period, free cash flow yields have averaged 8%, while this figure averaged 4% in the preceding decade. And producers have been using this cash to buy back shares, raise dividends, and pay off debt. 

From a technical perspective, LPL notes the relative strength as the sector has been making new, all-time highs for much of this year. Additionally, there has been strong breadth, indicating broad-based buying pressure. 

Another looming catalyst is that there has been some rotation out of the ‘Magnificent 7’ stocks into cheaper parts of the market, such as energy, financials, and small-caps. Growth stocks have led the market higher for most of the past year, but with valuations extended, there is an increased risk of a pullback or correction.

Finally, investing in energy provides some protection against inflation continuing to linger above the Fed’s desired level and rates remaining elevated as a consequence. Energy also tends to rally when long-term bonds weaken, providing a hedge for portfolios.

Finsum: Energy has outperformed to start the year. LPL remains bullish on the sector due to its attractive valuation, positive correlation with inflation, and relative strength.

Published in Eq: Energy
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