KUALA LUMPUR (March 12): Oil and gas (O&G) stocks were among top actives on Bursa Malaysia in the morning session, as global crude oil prices climbed due to a drop in the number of US rigs drilling for more production.
Among the top 10 actively-traded stocks were Sapura Energy Bhd, Hibiscus Petroleum Bhd and UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd (UMWOG).
Hong Leong IB Researh in a traders' brief this morning said it anticipates traders may focus on the oil and gas sector, following the rebound in crude oil prices.
At 11.09am, Sapura Energy increased 0.5 sen or 1.07% to 47 sen, with some 36.5 million shares traded. The counter earlier rose as much as 2 sen to a mid-morning high of 48.5 sen.
This marked a slight rebound in its price, which plummeted to an all-time closing low of 45.5 sen on Friday (March 9), due to expectations of weak results for the fourth quarter ended Jan 31, 2018 (4QFY18). However, the counter is still below the 65 sen levels seen in early March.
The fall in its share price followed analysts’ comments of there being no signs of recovery for Sapura Energy’s engineering and construction (E&C) and drilling divisions, along with another round of impairments.
Meanwhile, Hibiscus gained 3.9% or 3.5 sen to 93 sen, with some 25.4 million shares traded, while UMWOG gained 0.5 sen or 1.6% to 31 sen, with some 15.12 million shares exchanging hands.
Reuters reported the rise in oil markets were supported by a drop in the number of US rigs drilling, while demand for fuel is expected to increase in line with the reported increase in the number of jobs in the US.
The US Labor Department had on Friday said non-farm payrolls increased 313,000 in February, which was the biggest increase over the past one and a half years.
Meanwhile, US energy companies had cut oil rigs for the first time in two months.
At the time of writing, Brent crude futures increased 0.18% to US$65.61 per barrel, while WTI crude futures increased 0.18% to US$62.15 per barrel.