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Photo: Ali Balikci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Shell's profit surged to $5.6 billion in the third quarter, up from $4.1 billion in the same period last year, the oil-and-gas giant announced today.

Why it matters: The haul is the latest sign of how the rise in crude oil prices is boosting the fortunes of the industry, although Shell didn't hit analysts' forecasts.

  • Shell said higher oil, gas and LNG prices, as well as money from its gas trading unit, were behind the rise.
  • But those gains were partly offset by factors including lower margins in refining and "adverse currency exchange effects."

Where it stands: The company used the report to say it's rewarding investors by increasing its share buybacks to $2.5 billion between now and late January.

  • That's up from $2 billion in the prior phase of the program that envisions $25 billion in buybacks by the end of 2020.

What's next: Exxon and Chevron, the largest U.S.-based majors, will report their Q3 results on Friday morning.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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