Why the oil trade may have more juice despite a losing week

Even though WTI crude just saw its worst week in more than two months, the oil trade may have more juice left in the tank.

Mirae Asset Securities’ Chris Hempstead told CNBC’s “ETF Edge” that he sees the Russia-Ukraine war fallout and OPEC+ oil cuts as key bullish catalysts for oil.

“If you look at the 33 energy ETFs that are out there, almost all of them, when you’re looking at their underlying components, have analyst buy ratings and overweight ratings,” the firm’s director of ETF trading said. “Even with the rally in the energy sector, despite the rest of the broader market going down, the P/E multiples are still rather low, and I think that might be what’s driving part of the analyst community to buy and be overweight.”

Hempstead added that demand for oil and gas will increase when China — the world’s second-biggest consumer of oil — exits its Covid-19 lockdowns.

Jan van Eck, CEO of global investment manager VanEck, shares that bullish outlook.

“No one wants nuclear, no one wants solar panels [and] no one wants windmills, but we need it to do this energy transformation,” van Eck said. “That’s going to be super supportive for energy over the next couple of years.”

Years of reset ahead?

After the decadelong bear market in commodities, van Eck sees multiple years of reset ahead due to supply constraints. He noted that oil services companies are under pressure to keep the same level of production and be “disciplined” with natural depletion around 9% per year.

At the same time, according to van Eck, oil prices need to stay high so OPEC+ members see incentives in investing additional wells.

It’s not just exchange-traded fund investors seeing upside. On Friday, BofA Securities reiterated its recommendation to overweight energy. The firm ranks energy as No. 1 in its “tactical sector framework.”

WTI Crude fell almost 8% this week to $85.61 a barrel. But it’s still up almost 14% year to date.

Sophie Tremblay

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