Shares of Petronas' units fall ahead of Opec output freeze talks

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): Oil and gas counters fell as sentiment was affected by the output freeze quandary ahead of the Sept 27 Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) meeting.

Petroliam Nasional Bhd subsidiaries, along with SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, saw their share price come down this morning. This is in line with the overall market sentiment, with the FBM KLCI down 5.96 points at 1,655.43 at the end of the morning session.

At the midday break, Petronas Gas Bhd was down 38 sen or 1.73% at RM21.54, with 439,300 shares done for a market capitalisation of RM42.58 billion.

Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd dipped one sen or 0.15% to RM6.62, with 1.07 million shares traded, valuing it at RM53 billion.

Petronas Dagangan Bhd slipped four sen or 0.17% to RM23.32, with 179,100 shares transacted, valuing it at RM23.2 billion.

SapuraKencana was down three sen or 1.94% at RM1.52, with 1.58 million shares exchanging hands, for a market capitalisation of RM9.1 billion.

US Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures was up 12 cents or 0.28% at US$43.70 a barrel, while Brent Crude grew 25 cents or 0.55% to US$46.10 a barrel.

According to a report by Bloomberg, discussions have shifted away from freezing output at current rates to capping production at levels of each country’s choosing, a system which could see producers pledge millions of barrels of additional supply, as they expand capacity or in the case of Nigeria and Libya, restore disrupted exports.

It further said the threat of action to curtail output is needed now more than ever, to cushion prices as the outlook for supply and demand deteriorates.

Both OPEC and the International Energy Agency revised their forecasts for 2017 this week, with the IEA now warning that the glut will persist through next year, said Bloomberg.

Areca Capital Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Danny Wong said the Opec talks were lending sentiment to the oil and gas counters here.

“They are very much affected by the talks, particularly Petronas-related counters, due to its high capex, but not so much the service-oriented companies, as they will continue business as usual, servicing the industry,” he said.