After taking a beating on Tuesday, the first day of this shortened week’s trading, S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) energy shares are storming back.
In afternoon trading, the S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index (ASX: XEJ) is up 1% compared to a 0.8% gain posted by the ASX 200.
Energy prices have pulled back some from multi-year records in recent days on fears that China’s COVID-zero policies could see lockdowns expanded and crimp the nation’s voracious energy demand.
But with pre-existing energy supply shortages exasperated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, coal, crude oil, and gas remain at levels offering frothy profit margins to the top ASX 200 energy shares.
Below are 3 leading companies hitting fresh 52-week highs today to finish off the week and month.
EV charging plans spur investor interest
The first ASX 200 energy share breaking into new 52-week highs is Ampol Ltd (ASX: ALD).
Shares in the fuel station and convenience store operator are up 1.1% at the time of writing to $33.86. You have to go back to just before the pandemic-fuelled market rout in February 2020 to find the Ampol share price worth more.
Ampol shares received a boost earlier this month when the New Zealand Commerce Commission greenlighted its divestment of Gull for some NZ$509 million of cash to Allegro Funds Pty Ltd.
Today Ampol shares look to have gotten an additional boost following a media release reporting that it’s ramping up electric vehicle charging ambitions via its EV charging brand, AmpCharge.
Coal demand drives this ASX 200 energy share to another 52-week high
Moving on, ASX 200 energy share Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC) is also ratcheting up a new 52-week high… barely!
With shares retracing in late afternoon, the Whitehaven Coal share price stands at $4.98 per share at the time of writing, up a slender margin from yesterday’s close of $4.96.
Whitehaven Coal has benefited from record prices for coal, spurred by global conflict and supply shortages as demand has soared.
In the company’s quarterly report, released on 20 April, it reported receiving an average coal price of $315 per tonne, up from $101 per tonne in the first quarter of 2021.
Which brings us to…
The third ASX 200 energy share notching 52-week highs
The third company hitting fresh 1-year highs today is Viva Energy Group Ltd (ASX: VEA).
Viva energy shares are up 0.2% in late afternoon trade, having also retraced from earlier gains.
Still, at $2.80 per share, the Aussie energy retailer is trading at levels not seen since December 2019.
Last week the ASX 200 energy share provided a strong quarterly operational update, indicating its total sales volumes in 1Q22 increased 9% over the same period last year.