The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest equity-based energy exchange traded fund, is up about 9% this month, underscoring the point that energy sector has recently been one of the best-performing sectors.
However, some market observers believe the sector faces challenges and will give back some of its recent gains. Oil prices recently rallied after the U.S. dropped out of the Iran nuclear accord and added new sanctions against the country, which is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Some investors argue that catalyst may be overstated.
“Iran’s oil exports were down by around 1 million barrels per day under sanctions before the 2015 deal was reached. This time, analysts expect much less of an impact. It’s important to note that the U.S. doesn’t import any oil from Iran, so American sanctions will have no direct effect on Iranian oil exports. It’s a matter of seeing if other countries follow the U.S. or not,” reports Evie Liu for Barron’s.
Different This Time for Energy, Oil?
Crude oil prices have increased more than 10% over the past month after President Donald Trump signaled it is likely the U.S. will withdraw from a 2015 international agreement with Iran that eased sanctions in return for curbs to the country’s nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal reports.