By Anna Isaac 

Shares in big oil companies climbed Thursday as President Trump said the Russia-Saudi price dispute could soon be resolved, and was set to meet with industry leaders.

Mr. Trump is expected to meet with top executives from some of the U.S.'s largest oil companies Friday, including Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Darren Woods, Chevron Corp. CEO Mike Wirth and Harold Hamm, executive chairman of Continental Resources Inc.

Exxon's shares rose 7.3% in premarket trading and Chevron's climbed 6.5%. Royal Dutch Shell PLC rose 9.5%, making the London-listed stock one of the biggest gainers in Europe Thursday.

Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate crude futures both leapt more than 10% to $27.46 and $22.36 a barrel respectively.

Mr. Trump said Wednesday he was confident Russia and Saudi Arabia would be able to work out a resolution to their differences over the oil market.

The pressure from Mr. Trump on Saudi Arabia and Russia to find common ground to support crude markets has lifted oil stocks, said Colin Smith, director of oil-and-gas research at merchant bank Panmure Gordon.

Analysts were wary of how meaningful an intervention by the U.S. might be in the spat between two of the world's most important oil producers -- or that the bounce in big oil stocks would be sustained.

Goldman Sachs analysts said the nearly 40% bounce in oil companies' shares since their March 18 trough would only last if crude prices recover -- something they "do not see on the immediate horizon."

The expectation of an extended crude rout was one reason oil companies had cut back on investment and halted share buybacks to shore-up their finances, Panmure Gordon's Mr. Smith said. "The industry is trying to give itself as much space as possible to work out how bad things are before it may have to cut dividends."

Write to Anna Isaac at anna.isaac@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 02, 2020 08:59 ET (12:59 GMT)

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