Stock markets today: Wall Street points toward declines before opening bell as Russian troops advance on Ukraine’s capitol

NEW YORK – Wall Street showed declines before opening on Friday and global stocks rose mainly as Russian troops pushed towards the Ukrainian capital.

Futures for the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Index were 0.4% lower each. Both had fallen more than 1% earlier in overtime trading.

Market benchmarks rose in London, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai, but fell in Hong Kong. Russian stocks gained 14%, recovering from a riot on Thursday, as the invasion of Ukraine began.

Oil prices returned to pre-Russian levels after hitting around $ 100 a barrel on Thursday. Most other commodities fell after rising the previous day.

MORE: Live Russia-Ukraine updates

Despite uncertainty over Ukraine and worries about inflation and the pandemic, an overnight Wall Street recovery seemed to boost Asian and European stocks.

Investors were relieved that sanctions against Russia were not as severe as they could have been, even when the Ukrainian president called for international help to prevent an attack that could overthrow his democratically elected government, causing huge casualties. and cause damage to the world economy.

The British FTSE 100 gained 2.5% in early trading, while the French CAC 40 rose 1.9% and the German DAX 1.7%.

SEE: Four scenarios on how the Russia-Ukraine conflict could end

Russia has been pushing for an invasion of Ukraine on the outskirts of the capital on Friday, launching airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending troops and tanks from three directions, the equivalent of Europe’s largest land war since World War II.

Market participants may be betting that the crisis could slow central bank moves to reduce inflation by raising interest rates and easing other support for pandemic-prone economies, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya of Swissquote Bank SA.

“But in reality, it is instability, high instability resulting from a high voltage environment,” Ozkardeskaya wrote in a comment. “This morning, the futures contracts of the US stocks are in the red again. It is impossible to say which direction the market will take in the next five minutes. The only certainty is the uncertainty and so it will unfortunately be for the next two sessions. . “

The Russian invasion of Ukraine caused a barrage of new, targeted economic sanctions aimed at isolating, punishing and impoverishing Russia in the long run.

VIDEO: Biden strikes Russia with new sanctions, Putin says he “chose” war

However, US and European officials have backtracked on a key economic measure, choosing not to start Russia at the moment with SWIFT, the dominant system for global financial transactions.

Japan on Friday announced new sanctions on Russia, including freezing assets of Russian groups, banks and individuals, and suspending exports of semiconductors and other sensitive goods to Russia.

Earlier in the week, Tokyo suspended new issuance and distribution of Russian government bonds in Japan to reduce funding opportunities for Russia. It also banned trade with the two Ukrainian separatist regions.

But as most nations in Asia rallied in support of Ukraine, China has imposed sanctions on Russia, accusing the United States and its allies of provoking Moscow.

In Asian trading, Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark rose 2.0% to 26,476.50. Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 lost some of its previous gains to close 0.1% higher at 6,997.80 points. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1% to 2,676.76. Hong Kong Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 22,767.18 points, while Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% to 3,451.41 points.

Russia and Ukraine are major producers of energy and grain and other commodities, and the conflict has pushed prices much higher, adding to inflationary headaches for central banks.

Asian economies that have already erupted from the pandemic are particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs. Japan imports almost all of its energy, although its purchases from Russia are limited.

On Friday, US benchmark crude oil rose 74 cents to $ 93.55 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude Brent, the basis for international oil prices, added 33 cents to $ 95.75 a barrel.

Energy prices have risen more in Europe than in the US because its economies are more closely linked to Russia and Ukraine. The spot price in Europe for natural gas has jumped more than 50%.

Higher energy and food prices have fueled concerns about inflation, which in January was the highest in the United States for two generations, and what the Federal Reserve will do to contain it.

The US Fed looks set to raise interest rates starting next month for the first time since 2018. Although it has sometimes delayed major policy decisions in times of geopolitical uncertainty, such as the Kosovo war and the US invasion of Iraq, Economists say they are still waiting for it to act to reduce inflation. A major concern is whether it can do this without drowning the economy in recession.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 115.45 Japanese yen from 115.48 yen. The euro cost $ 1.1211, up from $ 1.1204.

The Russian ruble strengthened more than 2% to 82.72 per dollar.

Shares of the Etsy online craft market continued to rise, rising almost 17% in pre-trading after rising 10% on Thursday. The company exceeded sales and profit expectations for the fourth quarter and said it was increasing seller sales to 6.5% from 5%.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Stock markets today: Wall Street points toward declines before opening bell as Russian troops advance on Ukraine’s capitol Source link Stock markets today: Wall Street points toward declines before opening bell as Russian troops advance on Ukraine’s capitol

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