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Oil Trading Bonanza Saves the Quarter for Shell and Total

  • Both energy giants avoid predicted losses due to trading gains
  • U.S. peers unlikely to reap similar benefits from volatility
Royal Dutch Shell Gas Stations Ahead Of Earnings Figures
Photographer: Stacie Scott/Bloomberg
Updated on

The secretive oil-trading businesses of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SE saved both European majors from posting losses in the second quarter, bringing a torrent of cash that countered the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Investors had already been warned that the pandemic hammered almost all parts of the energy giants’ businesses -- from forecourts, to oil and gas production, to the long-term value of assets. But that was offset by gains from speculating on energy markets, the companies said Thursday.