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Petchems stocks rally as crude surges, indexes tick up: PCW index

HOUSTON, April 15, 2016 (PCW) -– Petchems companies’ stocks rallied this week as crude advanced strongly amid chatter of production freezes and cuts, and economic indexes perked up.

WTI finished Thursday above the critical $40/bbl mark – a production breakeven point for many companies – gaining 11.38% during the week.

The midstream segment, often following crude’s lead, saw the biggest gains on the week. Its average stock price was up $1.84, or 7.59%, to $26.01/share. Targa took the lion’s share of the gains as its stock price climbed 11.8%. During the week, analysts upped their earnings estimates for the company, based on improved crude and NGL prices and forecasts of increasing LPG and refined products exports.

The vinyls group was next with its average stock price rising $2.08, or 6.17%, to $35.86/share. Ahead of earnings season and amid its embattled acquisition battle with Westlake Chemical, Axiall’s shares rose 9.34% during the week. The company’s stock has been on a general upswing over the last two weeks as Axiall executives continue to contend Westlake’s $3.1 billion bid still undervalues the company.

Meanwhile, the olefins/polyolefins sector rose $2.98, or 5.2%, to $60.21/share. Again, prior to earnings season, another embattled company that is the target of an acquisition – Williams – saw its stock price move up 13.11% during the week. This comes as a Delaware court agreed Thursday to expedite Williams’ lawsuit against its potential buyer, Energy Transfer, in the hopes that the deal would close in the second quarter.

Finally, the aromatics/ refinery sector saw its stock price gain $1.95, or 3.3%, to $61.10/share. Shell took the lead with its share price up 9.42% week-on-week. The gains come as the supermajor announced earlier this week that it was mulling further asset sales, such as some of its aging North Sea assets, to improve its bottom line.– Samantha Hartke

*Index components:

Weekly Stock Price Index
  This Week Last Week Difference % Difference
Midstream Average 26.01 24.18 1.84 7.59
Olefins/Polyolefins Average 60.21 57.23 2.98 5.20
Aros/Refinery Average 61.10 59.14 1.95 3.30
Vinyls Average 35.86 33.78 2.08 6.17
Major Economic Indicators
  This Week Last Week Difference % Difference
EUR/USD 1.13 1.14 -0.01 -0.87
Dow Jones Indices 17926.43 17541.96 384.47 2.19
S&P 500 2082.78 2041.91 40.87 2.00
WTI crude 41.50 37.26 4.24 11.38