India Wallops BP, Energy Markets

Jun.18.12 | About: BP p.l.c. (BP)

Shares of snake-bitten Integrated Oil & Gas Major BP (NYSE:BP) led the way down more than one percent in the pre-market Monday as Euro-phoria gave way to India-ration (as in irate. It's early). Ratings agency Fitch lowered India's economic outlook to negative after the Reserve Bank of India's baffling decision not to cut interest rates. A could-have-been positive quickly turned negative and the USO (NYSEARCA:USO) joined BP falling in the pre-market along with many other energy names including Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Exxon (NYSE:XOM), ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Total (NYSE:TOT), and EnCana (NYSE:ECA).

Global energy has had a rough go of it lately after having never fully recovered from the 2008 crash. With oil prices rolling down a hill alongside a global recession and a Euro-mess we now get news from India that its one billion people will be spending their Summer sliding into recession.

The Reserve Bank of India had been lowering rates as recently as April but cited inflation as a reason to keep the money supply tight. Inflation! As they slide into recession! Is Angela Merkel dating the President of India all of a sudden?

Global recession is the worst of cases for global energy and it could be interesting to keep an eye on BP not just because of its global reach but because it is going through all the pain of the other energy companies PLUS ONE (the, ahem, setback in the Gulf of Mexico). Turn up the heat on energy consumers worldwide and BP could be a bit of a canary in the global energy coal mine.


Global economic conditions were not good in the first place and deteriorated in the past few months. A rate cut by India was apparently priced in to energy producers during Friday's Euro-phoria. Early Monday it looks like those gains are being given right back.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.