Energy sector rises 5% as oil prices go nuts

The benchmark Brent crude continued its rise in Asian trade, surging by another 20% this morning to over US$140 a barrel.

It’s since retreated, and at 4pm AEDT, was trading just shy of US$130 a barrel.

Overnight, US House speaker Nancy Pelosi supported a possible US ban on Russian oil and gas. President Biden has earlier said that oil supply will have to be ensured before any action is taken.

Russian exports account for 8% of global supplies, and only 3% of US crude oil imports. Experts believe the US could easily make that up with its own domestic production and stockpile.

The jump in oil prices has caused the Aussie dollar to surge above US 74 cents, and the ASX Energy sector by almost 5%.

Commodities have experienced the biggest surge since the 2008 global financial crisis, as the Ukraine war enters its third week.

The spot gold price is now nearing the US$2k level and trading at US$1,990 an ounce in Asian hours.

On the ASX, airlines, tech and retail stocks were the biggest losers today, as the broader ASX 200 index closed 1.17% lower.

BIG CAP WINNERS

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Oil producers Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL) up 9%, and Santos (ASX:STO) up 5%.

Gold digger De Grey Mining (ASX:DEG) was the best large cap performer today, up 18% on the back of a surging gold price.

Other gold producers rose, like Northern Star (ASX:NST) which gained 6.5%.

BIG CAP LOSERS

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Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) was the worst large cap performer today, down 10% on the back of a more negative sentiment toward tech stocks.

Qantas (ASX:QAN) was down 8% on the back of higher crude oil prices.

Other stocks that were hard hit today include healthcare stock Imugene (ASX:IMU), which was down 10%, and fashion jewellery retailer Lovisa (ASX:LOV), also down 9%.

Meanwhile, AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) shed 2% today after it rejected an upgraded offer from Mike Cannon-Brooks and Brookefield Asset Management – at $8.25 a share, a 75 cent bump from the original $7.50 bid made a fortnight ago.

The AGL stock price closed today at $7.30.