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ETFs to Win as Saudi's New Minister May Seek Same Oil Policy

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Offering a much-needed relief to the investing world, OPEC’s largest producer and de facto leader Saudi Arabia indicated on Sep 9 that it wouldn’t change its oil policy (which included successive output cuts in the recent past) materially under its new energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman.

Notably, Saudi Arabia changed its energy minister, bringing in the son of the king and ousted Khalid al-Falih. The new minister also appeared to hint at further cuts to mitigate the issue of the global glut.  He has worked as deputy petroleum minister for more than a decade and has long-standing and experience in working with OPEC, and negotiating agreements with other member countries, per oilprice.com.

In early July, OPEC decided to extend the oil production cut into 2020, in an effort to boost oil prices. Russia also announced that it will join the OPEC in doing the same. Concerns over global demand growth and steady output gains in America’s shale fields had led to the extension of the output cut.   

What Do Analysts Believe?

“Earlier in August, Emma Richards, senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions, said that in the current gloomy market sentiment, OPEC would need to deepen the output cuts by 1 million bpd if the cartel wants to move up the price of oil”, as quoted on oilprice.com.

IHS Markit also believes the same. At the end of August, the agency indicated that Saudi Arabia needs to take action to have oil prices at least around US$60 a barrel Brent before it is too late as the liquid commodity is facing threats to waning demand amid global growth worries and rising U.S. crude oil output.

Why the Change in Oil Minister?

Some sources believe that one of the top priorities at this point is the initial public offering of Saudi Aramco. To see success on the bourses, the very IPO needs higher oil prices. A royal family member at the top position of the energy sector may facilitate all these necessary factors.

Market Reaction

The announcements and moves boosted oil prices on Sep 9. Investors should note that the prolonged trade tensions resulted in global growth worries. Many foreign economies are slowing currently, giving a serious threat to oil demand. Russia is even considering possibility of oil prices being as low as $25 per barrel in 2020. In such a tensed situation, a shakeup in Saudi’s oil sector seems timely.

ETFs in Focus

This has compelled many investors to look into the oil commodity world and these ETFs (see all Energy ETFs here).

United States Brent Oil Fund (BNO - Free Report) – Up 1.9% on Sep 9

United States Oil Fund (USO - Free Report) – Up 2.6%

Invesco DB Oil Fund (DBO - Free Report) – Up 2.0%

US Commodity Funds United States 12 Month Oil (USL - Free Report) – Up 2.0%

We highlight a few regular energy ETFs that should also be watched closely.

Invesco S&P SmallCap Energy ETF (PSCE - Free Report) – Up 6.1%

VanEck Vectors Unconventional Oil & Gas ETF (FRAK - Free Report) – Up 3.7%

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP - Free Report) – Up 5.7%

John Hancock Multifactor Energy ETF (JHME - Free Report) – Up 3.0%

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