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Energy & Utilities Roundup: Market Talk

12 May 2018 8:20 am

The latest Market Talks covering Energy and Utilities. Published exclusively on Dow Jones Newswires at 4:20 ET, 12:20 ET and 16:50 ET.

1723 GMT - The number of active oil rigs in the US jumps by 10 to 844, marking the sixth straight weekly increase and the highest total in three-plus years, says Baker Hughes' weekly report. The increase was led by the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, as usual. It added 5 oil rigs to 463. That suggests drillers' optimism over higher oil prices far outweighs any concerns about a lack of sufficient pipelines in west Texas which could make getting their product to market more challenging. Meantime, natural gas rigs rise by 3 to 199. WTI declines slightly on the news, and is 0.6% lower on the day at $70.98/bbl. (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

1551 GMT - European shares pare losses to rise 0.1% as Swiss chemical group Sika AG and oil services company John Wood Group PLC make gains. The Stoxx Europe 600 advances 0.1% to 392.4 as Sika lifts 8.1% after signing an agreement with French building material supplier Saint-Gobain to end a takeover battle. Wood gains 10% after upbeat first-quarter trading. Retailer H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB is the biggest pan-European faller, down 4%. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

1428 GMT - Houston oil conferences -- known during boom times for overindulgence and sometimes even decadence -- are regaining some of that mojo "after three to four years in a ditch" due to oil hitting $70/bbl, says the oilfield services team at Credit Suisse. It specifically notes an upbeat tone to last week's mega Offshore Technology Conference. "Rig inquiries are up, conversations are more positive, and many saw light at the end of the tunnel," it says. "While the Street held up the Four Seasons bar, the industry partied and played at venues around town... But no one wanted to push the celebration too hard, since these guys understand the underlying market better than the people buying their stocks." (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

1225 GMT - The US benchmark oil price treads water early in NY as it consolidates recent gains to multi-year highs on the back of renewed Iran oil sanctions and falling US crude inventories. Investors today will watch for the weekly Baker Hughes rig count report at 1pm ET in the hopes of understanding whether drillers eyeing $70-plus oil will ramp up activity sharply, or if pipeline shortages and other constraints in Texas's mighty Permian Basin may lead them to gently apply the brakes on activity growth rates. Ongoing Middle East tensions are also keeping upward pressure on oil. The Nymex oil contract for June delivery is unchanged at $71.36/bbl. (dan.molinski@wsj.com)

1004 GMT - European shares drop as utilities and retailers fall, offsetting gains for Swiss chemical group Sika after it ends a legal dispute. The Stoxx Europe 600 declines 0.1%, or 0.4 points to 391.57 as Severn Trent drops 2.45% and United Utilities Group reverses 2.3%, while retailers H&M and Next fall 2.3% and 2.5% respectively. Sika lifts 8.1% after signing an agreement with French building material supplier Saint-Gobain to end a takeover battle. Oil-services company John Wood Group gains 8.4% after reporting good first-quarter trading. (philip.waller@wsj.com)

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 12, 2018 04:20 ET (08:20 GMT)

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