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Friday's Energy Stocks: Encana up 5% on gas assets deal

Energy indexes advanced while broader markets finished mixed on Friday, June 9, as U.K. elections, resulting in no outright majority, injected uncertainty into energy markets.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.42% at 21,271.97, and the S&P 500 shed 0.08% to close out the week at 2,431.77. The SNL Energy Index added 0.40% to close at 288.75.

Encana Corp. subsidiary Encana Oil & Gas USA Inc. announced that it has agreed to sell its Piceance natural gas assets in northwestern Colorado for $735 million in cash. Encana shares jumped 5.39% to $9.39 after an active session. The gas asset deal is so far enjoying the approval of analysts as well.

The SNL Midstream Index increased 1.02% to close at 112.51.

Atmos Energy Corp. rose 0.12% to $83.64 on below-average volume following the completion of its public offering of $500 million of 3% senior notes due 2027 and $250 million of 4.125% senior notes due 2044, yielding $752 million in net proceeds.

NiSource Inc. retreated 0.23% to $25.77 on below-average trading after declaring the final results of the cash tender offer made by NiSource Finance Corp. for its 6.125% notes due 2022.

The SNL Gas Utility Index was up 0.48% to close out the week at 582.00.

Alliant Energy Corp. edged up 0.02% to end a slow session at $41.26 after completing an "at-the-market" offering of approximately 3.1 million common shares for gross proceeds of $125 million. The company plans to use its shareowner direct plan to issue the remaining stock to reach targeted proceeds of approximately $150 million.

Barclays analysts downgraded Sempra Energy's rating from overweight to equal weight given risks of potential construction delays and exposure from the $10 billion Cameron LNG export facility in Louisiana. Sempra shares lost 0.46% to close at $115 on high volume.

Barclays' concerns stem from the potential collateral damage if Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. NV is unable to complete construction of Cameron due to its financial position, and Sempra's risk exposure. Chicago Bridge & Iron gained 2.93% to finish at $16.16 on active trading.

The SNL Electric Company index closed down 0.30% at 475.26.

July natural gas futures struggled to hold the upside in the week's closing session, while reaching a $3.066/MMBtu high on the back of expectations for rising demand, the contract slipped back to a settle 1.1 cents higher at $3.039/MMBtu.

Market prices and index values are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change.