March 10, 2020 / 2:00 PM / 20 days ago

White House says Trump, Saudi crown prince discussed energy markets

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during a photo session with other leaders and attendees at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a call on Monday to discuss global energy markets, among other issues, the White House said on Tuesday without giving any other details.

Oil prices were up about 8% on Tuesday, a day after facing their biggest rout in nearly 30 years as Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, escalated tensions over its plan to ramp up production.

A fight for oil market share between Saudi Arabia and Russia exacerbated wider losses in financial markets triggered by concerns over the coronavirus, with U.S. stocks falling on Monday to their lowest levels since the 2008 financial crisis. On Tuesday, however, Wall Street appeared poised for a rebound.

“Yesterday, President Donald J. Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The President and the Crown Prince discussed global energy markets and other critical regional and bilateral issues,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement.

On Monday, Trump had blamed Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil fight for the drop in U.S. stock prices and said the plunge in oil prices would be good for U.S. consumers.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Alexandra Alper; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Susan Fenton

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