Stock market trading from the Windicator

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Please note that changes have been made to our tracking of wind industry market prices. NEG Micon (now part of Vestas) has been removed and Germany's Repower added. Second, the Windpower Monthly Equity Index (right) is now calculated on a weighted average basis, giving greater weight to the larger companies and making it more directly comparable to London's weighted FTSE index. Third, data input to the Analyst Choice overview has been narrowed to only include analysts who are reported by Bloomberg, thus ensuring that all selected analysts are actively covering the wind sector.

While market treatment of wind power as a standardised commodity still lies in the future, the fate of two other commodities -- oil and steel -- overshadowed the wind world during the last quarter. The hike in oil prices led many investors to the knee-jerk reaction that it must be good for alternative energy -- as oil prices continued to rise so did interest in wind. On the other hand, soaring steel prices led a number of analysts to reflect hard on the consequences for wind turbine costs and manufacturer profitability. In the end, oil proved stronger than steel. With prices rising above $40/barrel, wind received more column inches of press than it has for some time. Investor sentiment towards wind also turned more positive, apparently buoyed on a sea of oil.

Gamesa's shares continued their dizzying rise, up more than 10% over the last quarter. While the new Vestas may have by far the largest market share, its Spanish rival continues to outpace it on the stock market. At just over EUR 3 billion, Gamesa's market capitalisation is almost 40% larger than that of Vestas. Vestas' shares were down 6.5% over the last quarter -- the period in which it was completing its (ultimately successful) share offering, which put a damper on the price. Most recently, however, the company's share price bounced back strongly, perhaps on the back of the oil-for-wind sentiment. Meanwhile, Nordex and Repower had difficult quarters, down almost 18% and 3%, respectively, reflecting poor first quarter profits in a slow German market.

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