Sector movers: Oil equipment and service names lead gains
(ShareCast News) - The US Department of Energy's inventory figures for the week ending 16 February showed oil inventories in the States declined by 1.6m barrels a day as net imports (exports minus imports) shrank by roughly 1.59m b/d, pushing net imports below the 5.0m barrel a day mark for the first time since 1992, alongside flat domestic production.
As an aside, in its latest Annual Energy Outlook the Energy Information Administration, the DoE's statistical arm, projected that US tight oil output would exceed 8.2m b/d by the early 2040s and account for 70% of total US output, versus 54% in 2017.
Elsewhere, corporate results were the main driver behind Thursday's sector movements.
Centrica stock outperformed the market and its peer group by a wide margin, helping to lift the space to the second spot on the leaderboard.
Shares jumped from near their 52-week lows despite reporting a 17% drop in its adjusted full year operating profits - alongside plans for 4,000 layoffs by 2020.
Similarly, results out of RSA, British American Tobacco and BAE Systems accounted for moves in their respective areas of the markets.
Among banks however, the lift in Barclays stock after the lender revealed its intention to more than double its dividend payout in 2018 to 6.5p was offset by selling in HSBC.
Top performing sectors so far today
Oil Equipment, Services & Distribution +2.74%
Gas, Water & Multiutilities +1.68%
Industrial Metals & Mining +1.07%
Insurance (non-life) +0.85%
Bottom performing sectors so far today
Forestry & Paper -1.76%
Aerospace and Defence -1.51%