Top Energy Stocks
Energy stocks eased slightly this afternoon from their prior gains, with the NYSE Energy Sector Index climbing almost 0.8% while shares of energy companies in the S&P 500 were up just under 1.0% as a group. West Texas Intermediate crude oil for July delivery settled $1.14 higher at $52.28 per barrel in New York while the global benchmark Brent crude August contract advanced $1.48 to $61.45 per barrel. July natural gas futures fell 6 cents to $2.32 per 1 million BTU. Among energy-related ETFs, the United States Oil fund put up a nearly 2.3% gain while the United States Natural Gas fund slipped almost 2.2%. The Philadelphia Oil Service Sector index was up about 3.5% in late trade.
Among energy stocks moving on news:
(+) Vermilion Energy (VET) still was more than 1% higher in late Thursday trading after the Canadian oil and natural gas company reportedly has started drilling its first exploration well in Croatia and is expecting to report initial results for the project within five weeks. Citing information from the Croatian Hydrocarbon Agency, Reuters said Vermilion also will soon start drilling a second well at another of its four onshore exploration blocks in eastern Croatia awarded in 2015.
In other sector news:
(+) WPX Energy (WPX) climbed nearly 1% after MKM Partners Thursday began analyst coverage of the oil and natural gas producer with a buy investment recommendation and a $15 price target.
(+) National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) was higher on Thursday, rising almost 1%, after the oil and natural gas company raised its quarterly dividend by 2.4% compared with its most recent distribution, declaring a $0.435 per share dividend payable July 15 to shareholders of record on June 28.
(+) Lightbridge (LTBR) was up 2% this afternoon. The nuclear fuel technology company said European regulators have issued a notice of allowance for the company's metallic fuel rod and fuel assembly design. The new patent is valid in countries participating in the Eurasian Patent Convention, which includes the Russian Federation and several former Soviet jurisdictions.
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