Australian oil stocks gain some ground

AUSTRALIA’s share market finished the week a little higher buoyed by the government’s plans to restart the economy and relax COVID-19 restrictions.
Australian oil stocks gain some ground Australian oil stocks gain some ground Australian oil stocks gain some ground Australian oil stocks gain some ground Australian oil stocks gain some ground

Paul Hunt

Deputy Editor: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was up a fraction, 0.5%, or 26.9 points, to 5391.1 at close.

The biggest gains were Flight Centre, Webjet, REA Group, and fund Pendal Group. Consumer Discretionary AP Eagers was also in there.

Energy was more optimistic than last week, after slipping on Friday, May 1 there was some recovery and the Energy Index finished at 7099.79 points. That's a gain of about 230 points.

Woodside closed up 1.11% at $21.89 per share. It lost some ground from Wednesday, but its very much ahead of where it began on Monday at $20.96. The gas giant still has a long way to climb if its to get back to highs of $34 per share as it was in early February.

The second largest ASX-listed gas producer, Santos, was also up at close by 1.89%, at $4.76 per share. Again, mirroring Woodside's improvement from Monday when it traded at $4.6.

Oil Search was unchanged sitting at $2.87 a share all day.

Smaller entities, Cooper Energy ended the week up 1.3% for the day at 38.5 cents per share, while Beach Energy saw a modest rise of 0.33% to $1.51.

Refiners Caltex and Viva are also up for the day and the week even after warning the market at the Macquarie Australia Conference this week that they might shut down refineries unless the federal government provided serious support.  

Viva started the week $1.38 per share and finished at $1.43. Caltex also saw improvements from $23.40 a share to $24.34.

Pipeliner and infrastructure giant APA Group was up 1.35% at $11.26 per share today after announcing it may consider acquiring assets in the US given the oil price crash has resulted in a few bargains to be bought in North America.

The oil price benchmarks are up this afternoon, with West Texas Intermediate trading 5.9% higher at $24.90 and Brent Crude 3.80% higher at $30.58.  

To finish the week, some positive news for Australian LNG - according to Ports Australia data Queensland onshore LNG exports are roughly the same as they were at the start of the year, and just 2% down on peak production in October 2019 and January 2020. Over April more than 1.9 million tonnes of LNG was exported to international markets.

The QLD Gas Commission said this shows how resilient Australia is positioned economically, at least by international standards.