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Apple may soon lose the crown of the world’s most valuable stock. Blame crude oil

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is narrowing the gap with Apple Inc. for the title of the world’s most valuable company.

Benefiting from oil prices hitting the highest since 2008, Aramco shares have jumped 15% in less than three weeks, giving it a market capitalization of over $2.3 trillion.

Shares in iPhone maker Apple, meanwhile, have fallen 11% this year amid a broad market selloff, reducing its market value to about $2.6 trillion.

Bloomberg

Though Aramco is still more than 10% away from reclaiming the top spot, the continued surge in energy prices as countries impose sanctions on Russia’s oil has raised the possibility.

“Everybody wants to stick to commodities,” said Mazen Al-Sudairi, Al Rajhi Capital’s head of research. With oil at $130 a barrel, Aramco’s earnings — due later this month — are set to get a big boost, giving the oil giant room to increase its dividend, he said by phone.

The last time Aramco held the title of most valuable company was for a brief period in September 2020, when global markets were recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, it’s been a predominantly Apple show, save for several weeks in October and November last year, when an earnings miss for Apple propelled software giant Microsoft Corp. to the number-one position.

Still, with investors seeking quality in volatile markets, Apple has been seen as a relative haven by some. The iPhone maker is the best performer among mega-cap tech companies this year, with its 11% drop beating a 19% decline for the Nasdaq 100 Index.

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