Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks lost more ground this afternoon, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index Friday falling 1.0%, while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 dropped over 1.7% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for February delivery settled 29 cents lower at $45.59 per barrel, while the global benchmark Brent crude February contract declined 78 cents to $53.57 per barrel. January natural gas futures rose 23 cents to $3.82 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund also slid about 1.7% although the United States Natural Gas fund put up a more than 0.6% advance. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index fell 2.3%.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(-) Petrobras' ( PBR ) American depository shares were set to close about 2% lower after the Brazilian Supreme Court Friday issued an injunction suspending the proposed sale of $27 billion in assets by the state-run energy major. Earlier Friday, the company's stock climbed almost 2% following reports it had suspended all oil and fuels trading with Trafigura AG, Glencore plc and Vitol SA in the wake of allegations the commodity traders paid over $30 million in bribes to Petrobras employees between 2011 to 2014 in exchange for discounted oil and lower storage costs.
In other sector news:
(-) Ultra Petroleum ( UPL ) spiked 19% out of the gate, only to fall almost 5% late in Friday trading, after saying it expects to close on transactions before the end of the year that will reduce long-term debt at the oil and natural producer by at least $235 million.
(-) Vermilion Energy ( VET ) declined almost 2% on Friday after the Canadian exploration and production company completed its acquisition of Shell E&P Ireland Ltd as well as a 1.5% working interest in the Corrib natural gas project in Ireland from an affiliate of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
(-) Marathon Oil Corp ( MRO ) was slightly lower Friday afternoon after Citigroup raised its investment recommendation on the energy major's shares to buy from neutral.
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