- US and European stocks rose Tuesday after Russia said it’s pulling back some troops from Ukraine’s border.
- Gold, seen as a safe haven during times of uncertainty, hit an 8-month high of $1,877.72 an ounce earlier.
- Russia’s Putin has signaled a potential de-escalation after indicating talks with the US will go on.
Global stocks rose Tuesday after Russia said it’s withdrawing some troops from Ukraine’s border, reducing fears of immediate hostilities with its neighboring country that has rattled investors over the last week.
Futures on the Dow Jones rose 0.9%, while those on the S&P 500 rose 1.2%, and the Nasdaq gained 1.7% as of 4.40 a.m. ET, suggesting a higher start to trading later in the day.
A Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said: “February 15, 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed. Humiliated and destroyed without a single shot fired.”
This followed Lavrov saying on Monday that diplomatic talks with the West “are far from being exhausted.” Putin himself contradicted US warnings that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was days away.
He agreed with Lavrov — and said “alright” — to continue discussions with the US and its allies on Moscow’s demands for guarantees over Russian security.
In a move that analysts described as a difficult to assess, Ukrainian President Zelensky declared that Wednesday, initially identified as the likely day of an attack, would be a day of national unity.
Still, market participants seem to be finding themselves in a moment of uncertainty. Gold, seen as a safe haven during times of wariness, hit an eight-month high earlier on Tuesday, but retreated after Russia’s communication on troops. Gold futures were last down 0.5% at $1,859 an ounce, below an intraday peak of $1,881 an ounce.
The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose 4 basis points to 2.033%.
Analysts had been mulling over the consequences of the potential of a war-like situation. The biggest shock was expected to be in the energy sector, as rising gas prices would create a risk of not just high inflation in Europe, but also an acute shortage that could result in possible rationing among households and companies, according to SEB Research.
Crude prices have been rallying for eight straight weeks, and hit seven-year highs above $96 a barrel on Monday. They are up 23% year-to-date, having gained over 50% in 2021.
With the apparent easing in tensions, Brent crude futures fell 2.5% to $94.23 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate fell 2.7% to $92.92 a barrel.
UBS projected that if the situation between Russia and Ukraine were to defuse, oil prices could see a near-term setback to around $90 a barrel.
“But, regardless of the situation in Ukraine, we think the outlook for oil remains positive, with prices likely to be supported by a fundamental imbalance in the global energy market,” UBS strategists said.
European also got a boost. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, the Euro Stoxx 600 rose 1.05%, and Frankfurt’s DAX added 1.4%.
Most Asian indices closed lower before the latest development in the Ukraine crisis, with the exception of Chinese mainland markets.
Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.8% lower, while Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.7%.
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