Oil firms' share prices plunged during 1998

Low energy prices, driven by reduced demand due to the Asian financial crisis and mild winter weather in North America, took a toll on energy stock prices worldwide in 1998. And 1999 is expected to be another tough year for the industry. This is the conclusion of John S. Herold Inc., Houston, in its annual oil market performance review. From the end of 1996 to the end of 1998, Herold notes, oil prices plunged by $15/bbl, or 54%, and natural gas has done only slightly better, falling $0.80/ MMBTU, or 30%. "Based on these poor fundamentals, one would have expected oil and gas shares to have lagged the broad market," said the firm. "In fact, the returns can nearly be des...

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