In past round-ups, we have normally reserved this space for an overview of commodity markets, and their implications for some of the UK’s largest resources stocks in the year ahead. This time, we’d like to take a different approach.
One reason for doing so is the level of trade-war-themed uncertainty facing the sector, a point reflected in both the FTSE 350 Oil & Gas and Mining indices, which despite strong starts are flat on the year. In general, the blue-chip resources stocks upped their shareholder returns policies, but the whipsawing of commodity prices has held profits in check, pared back the collective return on capital and – in the case of the miners – cast doubt over capital expenditure plans.
But as any resources executive knows, the most important investment decisions must be made over years and decades. It is with this mindset that we are changing the way we write about and assess fossil fuel stocks.