ASX utilities shares electrifying the market as suspension begins to unwind

Why are ASX utilities shares like AGL beating the market today?

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Key points

  • It's been a wild day for ASX 200 shares 
  • But utilities shares like AGL and APA are significantly beating the market today 
  • Let's look at why this might be the case... 

It’s been a rather wild day on the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) so far this Wednesday. The ASX 200 spent most of the morning in green territory today. But it has also whipsawed considerably and is now back in red territory. But it’s been a different story for ASX utilities shares.

ASX utilities shares are doing exceptionally well today. Take APA Group (ASX: APA). APA shares are currently up an impressive 3.55% so far at $11.09 each. Or AGL Energy Limited (ASX: AGL). AGL has recorded a less-impressive but still significant 0.61% gain to $8.24 a share.

So why is this sector outperforming the rest of the ASX 200 so convincingly this Wednesday?

Well, it’s not entirely clear. But there has been a meaningful development out today that could be helping these ASX utilities shares do so well.

ASX utilities shares beat the market on Wednesday

According to a release from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) today, the operator has begun the process of lifting the suspension of the National Electricity Market (NEM). AEMO took control of the NEM last week after the risk of rolling blackouts along the east coast spiked due to pricing caps in the market.

This involves the market operator manually directing power generation and managing supply and demand. It was the first time this has happened in the history of the NEM.

The market operator taking control of the NEM might have been good news for consumers who might have otherwise faced power outages. But it wasn’t so good for energy utilities shares like APA and AGL, who suddenly had to take directives from the market operator.

Thus, the news that the NEM might be back to normal by as early as this Friday is arguably a positive development for these utilities shares. Thus, it could well be this news that is helping the APA and AGL share prices outperform the ASX 200 so convincingly today.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended APA Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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