European Shares Set To Extend Selloff
European stocks are seen opening sharply lower on Monday as the Russian-Ukraine conflict showed no sign of cooling, triggering the fastest-growing humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II.
Commodities racked up more scorching price gains, oil briefly touched $139 a barrel and the euro extended its slide, hitting parity against the safe-haven Swiss franc, after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday the United States and European allies are exploring banning imports of Russian oil.
The dollar continued its recent rally while U.S. 10-year yields were down at 1.69 percent, having already dropped 23 basis points last week.
Inflationary fears triggered a rush for safe-haven assets, with gold hitting the $2,000-level for the first time in a year-and-a-half.
Traders are pricing in a slower pace of rate rises from the Federal Reserve this year, though a March hike is still seen as a done deal.
Asian markets sank as Russia and Ukraine hold a third round of talks today about ending hostilities. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his campaign in Ukraine will not end until Kyiv stops fighting.
The United States has asked its citizens to leave Russia immediately after Visa and Mastercard suspended operations in Russia.
In economic releases, investors will keep a close eye on China’s and the United States’ inflation numbers this week for further clues related to policy tightening.
China has set an ambitious economic growth target for the year, putting the spotlight back on fiscal stimulus.
China’s exports grew more than expected in January to February period, figures from the General Administration of Customs revealed earlier today.
Exports increased 16.3 percent on a yearly basis, bigger than the expected growth of 15.0 percent. At the same time, imports advanced 15.5 percent, but slower than economists’ forecast of +16.5 percent.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday as a surge in commodity prices over fears of supply disruptions overshadowed positive U.S. employment data for February.
Data showed non-farm payroll employment spiked by 678,000 jobs in February after an increase of upwardly revised 481,000 jobs in January.
The jobless rate dipped to 3.8 percent in February from 4.0 percent in January but the wage growth slowed a little in the month.
The Dow dropped half a percent, the S&P 500 slid 0.8 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 1.7 percent.
European stocks nosedived on Friday to close near one-year lows after Russian forces took control of Europe’s largest nuclear plant and EU chief Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc was ready to hit Russia with more sanctions.
The pan European Stoxx 600 slumped 3.6 percent. The German DAX plunged 4.4 percent, France’s CAC 40 index plummeted 5 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 sank 3.5 percent.
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