Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Oil prices climbed Thursday morning as traders are responding to President Trump's comments yesterday evening that Russia and Saudi Arabia could soon mend fences on oil supply policy, per the Financial Times.

Driving the news: Trump told reporters that he believes, based on his recent calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi crown prince, that "they will work it out over the next few days."

  • Bloomberg also notes that the market is responding to China's plans to start buying oil for its strategic reserves.

Reality check: A note yesterday from Rapidan Energy Group says, "At present we do not expect Riyadh to change course."

  • Their "base case" sees deeper and sustained crude price drops as coronavirus' effects continue hitting demand.
  • They see prices under $20-per-barrel and the "bleak" economic outlook leading to OPEC+ resuming negotiations by early summer, leading to a deal that revives previous quotas and imposes some additional cuts.

What's next: Trump is slated to meet Friday with top executives of large oil companies to discuss potential ways to help the sector that's facing strong economic headwinds as prices and demand have collapsed.

  • The meeting is slated to include CEOs of ExxonMobil and Chevron, as well as big independent producers Occidental and Devon Energy, among others.
  • The prospect of efforts to help the sector is also putting some upward pressure on prices, per multiple reports.

But, but, but: The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the meeting, points out...

"[T]he options are limited for Washington to help beleaguered U.S. oil-and- gas producers, and there are strong differences between major oil companies and some independent shale drillers about whether aggressive government actions are even necessary, making the prospect of any agreement challenging."

Go deeper: Trump's big chill on offshore drilling

Go deeper

Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of noon ET: 20,391,697 — Total deaths: 744,211— Total recoveries: 12,625,076Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,161,612 — Total deaths: 164,690 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  5. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
  6. World: Lebanon reports coronavirus record, UN warns Beirut blast may drive cases higher
46 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.