Resources: A new beginning?


The S&P/ASX 200 index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has jumped over 2%, to close at 4,206.7, hitting two month highs as investors appear to be more confident about the global economy.

The rally added $24 billion in value to the market, with resources and energy stocks leading the way. It certainly helped that oil prices rallied for the seventh straight day, on renewed hopes of a pick up in the US economy and worries about the violence in Syria, and its potential impact on world oil supplies.

It all led to the best day in 2012 for the Energy sector, which rose 4.9%.

The Australian dollar continues to rise against most major currencies, currently buying just under 104 US cents, after earlier rising to 104.2 US cents.

Company news

WorleyParsons Limited (ASX: WOR) announced that it had been awarded a contract worth A$85m, to coordinate and deploy the environmental social-economic plans for the Belo Monte Hydropower Plant in Brazil. The company has operations in more than 40 countries, and with exposure to the growing Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sector, looks well placed to receive solid workflows over the next few years. WorleyParsons’ shares closed at $25.54, a rise of 3.2%.

Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) and Santos Limited (ASX: STO) both recorded large gains, up 7.5% and 5.8% respectively, on announcements today that they had both significantly increased production and sales of oil and gas. Both companies have seen their share prices fall dramatically in the last year due to cost overruns on their respective LNG projects, difficulties in hiring skilled labour and issues sourcing gas supplies. Woodside shares in particular, hit one year lows recently, a far cry from a high of over $67 back in 2008, while Santos’ shares had fallen 31% since reaching $14.63, in March this year.

Investors will be hoping that it’s now business as usual for both companies, and that we have seen the last of the cost over-runs.

Other resources winners and losers

Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) added 5.5% and 4.8% respectively, as resources stocks finally look to have found some favour. BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) was also a winner today, rising 3.1%, while Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) climbed 2.6%.

Foolish takeaway

Could this be the start of another bull run, like we saw in March 2009? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter, as long as we Fools (capital ‘F’) have selected the right stocks for the long-term.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King owns shares in BHP and Woodside Petroleum. The Motley Fool‘s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Take Stock is The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. Click here now to request your free subscription, whilst it’s still available. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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