PetroChina Shares Rise on Speculation of Higher Fuel Prices

PetroChina Co., the nation’s largest oil company, rose the most in almost a month in Shanghai as global crude-oil price gains boosted speculation that China may raise domestic fuel costs, analysts said.

The stock gained 4.7 percent to 11.77 yuan today, the biggest increase since Nov. 11. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent.

“PetroChina jumped on oil prices,” Qiu Xiaofeng, an analyst with China Merchants Securities Co. said by telephone from Shanghai. “Higher global crude boosted market speculation that PetroChina’s crude sales will soar.”

Crude traded at the highest in 26 months today as signs the economic recovery is gathering pace in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude-consuming nation, fueled speculation oil demand will increase. China last increased retail gasoline and diesel prices by 3 percent on Oct. 26.

BNP Paribas raised its price estimate for PetroChina shares traded in Hong Kong by 8.8 percent to HK$11.70, according to a research note today. The stock traded at HK$9.92, down 0.1 percent.

“PetroChina’s current A-share price is attractive as it’s relatively undervalued given the company’s growth potential,” China Merchants Securities’ Qiu said.

PetroChina’s smaller domestic rival China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. rose 2 percent to 8.34 yuan in Shanghai.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ying Wang in Beijing at ywang30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

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