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Markets Now – Thursday 2nd April 2020

The Samuel family, founder of the UK side of what became Royal Dutch Shell, was extremely literal. Shell Transport and Trading was so-called because it transported and traded shells. A pivot to oil happened after operations passed from curio shopkeeper Marcus Samuel to his sons, the unimaginatively named Marcus Samuel and Samuel Samuel. An incorporation document from 1900 available on Companies House has Shell wrapped in quotation marks to emphasise that its main business was no longer actual shells. The quote marks remained in its legal name until 2005, when “Shell” Transport & Trading merged with Koninklijke Nederlandse Petroleum. There’s no reason for you be interested in any of this but the fact that big oil’s following Brent higher this morning provides the excuse for a drop intro.

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