Asia Spotlight: Oil Surge Takes a Bite Out of India's Refiners

(Bloomberg) -- Energy companies were the top performers in the Asia-Pacific region Wednesday as crude oil surged past $70 a barrel in New York, though one major group got left in the cold: India’s oil refining giants.

Hindustan Petroleum Corp., Indian Oil Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp. tumbled at least 3.5 percent as investors weighed fears they might be unable to pass along rising feedstock costs alongside a weakening rupee that’s exacerbating the run-up in crude.

Indian Oil led declines after Chairman Sanjiv Singh said the company is keeping prices of petrol and diesel unchanged as he expects the surge in crude prices to be temporary. The three companies haven’t changed their pricing since April 24, even as West Texas Intermediate crude topped $70 a barrel.

“Global prices are not supported by fundamentals,” Singh said in an interview on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi earlier this week. “Some geopolitical issues are flaring up the prices and they will not last permanently.”

WTI crude jumped 2.9 percent to $71.04 a barrel after Trump said the U.S. will exit the accord to curb Iran’s nuclear program and reinstate financial sanctions on the country.

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