The ASX’s US-focused oil small caps were untouched by *that* WTI drop
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Overnight, the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil price suffered its biggest drop of the year, falling more than 5 per cent.
After rallying more than 50 per cent in four months from its pre-Christmas lows, the US benchmark oil price has been in decline since late April.
Stockhead analysis has found the ASX’s US-focused oil small caps have been responding to these fluctuations.
During this morning’s trading, only four of the 19 stocks had moved: Freedom Oil & Gas (ASX:FDM), Otto Energy (ASX:OEL), Australis Oil & Gas (ASX: ATS), and Sundance Energy Australia (ASX: SEA).
Of these, none had news today. All declined.
In the four months to April 23, ASX oil stocks gained 23 per cent. But in the last month they have lost 9.1 per cent.
Oil prices began recovering in late December after a rout that saw them plunge to a more than two year low.
The US have strengthened their position at the world’s largest producer with high production figures this year, producing 12.2 million barrels per day.
Infrastructure bottlenecks are causing problems with getting some of that oil to market, causing rising inventories, while slumping US manufacturing activity is increasing concerns about the impact of the US-China trade war.
Firms such as Rabobank and Morgan Stanley are blaming the trade war for the current price decline: the shape of a deal is looking less certain and reports suggest both economies are being hurt by on going tariff hikes.
Additionally, there is the ongoing uncertainty of what OPEC will do when they next meet in late June. Whether OPEC member states agree to produce more or less oil can influence oil prices.
Brent oil prices, the North Sea oil benchmark, have been falling as well but Deutsche Bank’s London desk have told clients this was due to the trade war rather than market fundamentals.