Oil prices continued to slide Monday after last week's surprise vote by the U.K. to exit the European Union.
Futures for the international benchmark Brent crude were down around half a percentage point to $47.65 per barrel while prices for U.S. crude were down about three-quarters of a percentage point to $46.79 per barrel. Both were down 5% on Friday as financial markets around the world tumbled on the news.
Analysts say while slower economic growth in the U.K. would lead to less demand for oil, that wouldn't have a big effect on global oil markets, with most of demand coming from emerging markets like India and China. However, a rising U.S. dollar makes oil pricier for overseas buyers, which can dampen prices for the commodity overall, and the uncertainty only adds worries to a sector battered by lower oil prices.
"Energy is in a tough spot, as valuations remain very cheap despite the recent run-up, and revision trends have improved," Jefferies & Co. said in a report Monday. "However, if the dollar meaningfully appreciates and oil falls, this group will lag behind. A lot of new capital has been raised in the sector, but balance sheets are still weak."
But if the dollar sags and momentum comes back to oil, we could see improvement across the board, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer said Monday.
"If oil turns around, our market turns around," he explained. "That's how ridiculously vulnerable to the upside we are."
Bill Herbert, research chief at Piper Jaffray unit Simmons & Co. International, advised oil and gas investors on Monday to "exercise patience" through the oil price volatility after the vote and recommended a blend of "defensive sanctuaries with plausible offensive optionality." His list includes Diamondback Energy (FANG - Get Report) , Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD - Get Report) , Suncor Energy (SU - Get Report) , Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) , Schlumberger (SLB - Get Report) , U.S. Silica (SLCA - Get Report) , Tesoro (TSO) and Enterprise Products Partners (EPD - Get Report) .
Seaport Global Securities oil services analyst Mark Brown wrote in a note that with Brexit reverberations adding to sector volatility, he continues to prefer the stocks with strong balance sheet and solid contract coverage as its top picks, specifically Rowan Cos. (RDC) , Diamond Offshore Drilling (DO - Get Report) and Noble (NE - Get Report) .
Jefferies oil services analyst Bradley Handler recommends Superior Energy Services (SPN - Get Report) given its heavy exposure in the U.S., limited foreign currency translation and healthy balance sheet.
The news is negatively affecting the shares of U.S. utility PPL (PPL - Get Report) , which derives around 65% of its earnings from the U.K. Analysts at Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said Monday that PPL's valuation discount is too wide at this point but the company will need exchange rate stability in the U.K. before investors come back into the stock.