Investors are gaining confidence – up to a point – that 2018 will be the year of oil stocks. While shares in top energy companies have risen since mid-2017, they have failed to keep step with recovering crude markets, opening up a historically unusual performance gap. Big oil stocks have also underperformed broader equity indexes. Uncertainty over whether the crude rally can stick and fears that advances in electric vehicles will undermine longer-term demand for oil still overshadow the sector. But a brighter outlook for oil prices compared with the slump of 2014-15 – coupled with a revival in energy companies’ profits and cash generation after three years of brutal cuts – could mark a turning point, according to investors and a string of global banks. “2017 was a challenging year for investors but there are now real opportunities in the energy sector,” said Olivia Markham, […]