Energy ETF Drops Toward 9-month Low As Oil Prices Slide

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

The energy sector was the biggest loser Thursday, as the sharp selloff in oil prices sent the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF tumbling 2.1% toward a nine-month closing low. Of the sector tracker's (XLE) 34 equity components, only one edged higher, with Noble Energy Inc.'s stock up 0.7%. Among the sector tracker's most-active components, shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. plunged 8.5%, Transocean Ltd. dropped 4.7%, Marathon Oil Corp. shed 4.8%, Kinder Morgan Inc. gave up 2.5% and Exxon Mobil Corp. slid 1.3%. The XLE had rallied as much as 12% in the month after the election to a 1 1/2-year closing high of $77.83 on Dec. 13, amid optimism over President Donald Trump's promise to reinvigorate the fossil fuel industry, but has since tumbled 15% as optimism faded given the White House's inability to implement policy promises. On Thursday, crude oil futures tumbled 5% toward the lowest close since Nov. 30, after data showing U.S. production increased while inventories declined less than expected. The XLE has dropped 13% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.

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