Marathon Oil, Occidental surge to top of S&P 500 leaderboard as crude climbs

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Energy (NYSEARCA:XLE +3%) was the easy winner of Monday’s S&P sector standings, with crude oil prices climbing to their highest finish in nearly two weeks as European Union foreign ministers considered a ban on Russian energy.

April WTI crude (CL1:COM) closed +7.1% to $112.12/bbl and May Brent crude (CO1:COM) also settled +7.1% to $115.62/bbl, with both benchmarks closing at their highest levels since March 8, when prices ended at their highest since 2008.

Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO +8.5%) and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY +8.4%) rocketed to the top of the S&P leaderboard, with other strong gainers including HES +6.6%, FANG +6.4%, EOG +5.7%, DVN +5.4%, PXD +4.7%, XOM +4.5%, APA +4.5%, RIG +4.4%, VLO +4.2%, HAL +4.2%, KMI +4.1%.


Optimism is seeping away about progress in talks to achieve a ceasefire in Ukraine, and that has sent the price of oil on the march upwards,” Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Susannah Streeter told Reuters.

The U.S. and U.K. have both banned Russian oil, but the European Union is much more dependent on Russian oil, “covering almost 30% of its import needs with crude oil from Russia… In the case of diesel, Russian oil even accounts for as much as 80% of its net imports,” Commerzbank’s Carsten Fritsch said.

Over the weekend, attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels caused a temporary drop in production at a Saudi Aramco refinery joint venture in Yanbu, prompting Saudi Arabia to say it would not be responsible for any global oil supply shortages.

Although the attacks caused no serious damage, they “make it clear that supply outages are also a distinct possibility there, which would be virtually impossible to offset in current environment,” Fritsch said.

The three biggest oilfield service providers said over the weekend that they are scaling back work in Russia.

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