Lower crude oil prices lift Jet Airways, SpiceJet up north


Shares of airliners flew up north on Wednesday, taking off smartly after crude oil prices slumped to their lowest levels in about eighteen months earlier this week.

Earlier this month, OPEC and some non-OPEC members agreed to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 2019.

However, doubts over the impact of planned production cuts led by OPEC to rebalance the oil market, and reports about higher inventory builds and forecasts of record shale output in the U.S. weighed on crude oil.

In its latest Petroleum Administration for Defense District report, the Energy Information Administration said U.S. petroleum exports have increased over the past several years to become an important factor in global oil markets. The report said U.S. petroleum product exports reached 5.2 million barrels per day in 2017.

Crude stockpiles in the world’s largest economy increased for ten successive weeks before dropping in the past three sessions. While the increases where much more than expected levels, the declines in inventories in the past three weeks have been much less than forecasts.

After hitting their best levels in a year in September 2018, Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate crude have lost around 40% over a short span of time.

Apart from rising inventories, fears of a drop in energy demand due to slowing global economy amid the ongoing U.S.-China trade disputes have contributed to the steep plunge in crude oil prices.

Shares of Jet Airways gained as much as 7.5%, as they settled at Rs 271 on NSE, slightly off the day’s high of Rs 272. The Jet Airways counter on NSE clocked a volume of over 17.4 million shares today.

On BSE, the stock ended up almost 8% at Rs 271.80. The counter recorded a volume of nearly 2.1 million shares today, as compared to average daily volume of about 1.3 million shares.

Crude oil futures, however, have regained some lost ground today with traders creating some fresh long positions ahead of U.S. crude inventory data, due on Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate futures for February are up $0.53 or 1.25%, at $43.06 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, still not far from a low of $42.36 recorded on Monday.

Brent oil futures for March are gaining $0.40, or 0.79%, at $51.77 a barrel, after having dropped to a low of 50.36 on Monday.

SpiceJet closed stronger by 4.4% at Rs 87.40, off the day’s high of Rs 88. On BSE, over 2.82 million shares changed hands today at the SpiceJet counter, as against average daily volume of 1.14 million shares.

However, the other airliner, Interglobe Aviation (Indigo) ended slightly weak, despite opening with a positive gap of over 1.3%.

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