Energy stocks are set to rebound from yesterday’s losses in the sector and broader markets. Rising oil prices amid ratcheting geopolitical tensions, circulating in Russia, and improving demand in China are lifting shares across the group. Meanwhile, broader futures are vacillating between slight gains and losses in the premarket. News flow across the sector is light.
Oil rose on Thursday as the prospect of higher Chinese demand and heightened geopolitical risks outweighed recession fears after a flurry of central bank interest rate hikes, including from the Bank of England. Prices rose by more than $1 earlier in the session on news that crude oil demand in China, the world’s largest oil importer, is rebounding, having been dampened by strict COVID-19 restrictions. At least three Chinese state oil refineries and a privately run mega refiner are considering increasing runs by up to 10% in October from September, eyeing stronger demand and a possible surge in fourth-quarter fuel exports, people with knowledge of the matter said. Meanwhile, Russia pushed ahead on Thursday with its biggest conscription since World War Two, raising concerns an escalation of the war in Ukraine could further hurt supply. “[Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] frequent irrational actions and reactions are what will keep the market volatile and violent on occasions,” said Tamas Varga, oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
Natural gas futures are lower by a dime, trading around $7.70, ahead of weekly inventory data. Analysts expect a build of 92 bcf versus the five-year average of +81 bcf.