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Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Mirae Asset Securities Ltd. lowered its rating on Asia’s energy sector to “neutral” from “overweight” amid recent share-price gains in Chinese oil companies.
Investors should consider locking in the gains after the Chinese government increased fuel prices for the first time in 10 months, Gordon Kwan, Mirae’s head of energy research in Hong Kong, said in a report e-mailed today.
China, the world’s second-biggest oil consumer, raised domestic fuel tariffs yesterday to spur production by refiners after international crude costs rose. The government controls fuel prices to curb inflation, which cooled to a 15-month low of 4.1 percent in December.
PetroChina Co., the listed arm of China’s biggest oil and gas producer, dropped 0.7 percent to HK$11.78 at the noon break in Hong Kong. The stock has gained 22 percent this year. China Petroleum and Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner, fell 0.6 percent to HK$9.39. Cnooc Ltd., China’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, climbed 0.5 percent to HK$17.18, gaining 27 percent this year. The benchmark Hang Seng Index has risen 13 percent since Jan. 1.
--Editors: John Chacko, Andrew Hobbs
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