Europe markets: Investors monitor Russia-Ukraine war

LONDON — European markets whipsawed wildly on Tuesday morning as investors continued to monitor the war in Ukraine and Western responses.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was flat by mid-morning, having dropped more than 0.6% at the open before rising more than 1.5% in a choppy morning’s trade. Banks jumped 2% while media stocks fell 1.9%.

In terms of individual share price movement, office rental firm IWG also jumped more than 11% after reporting a smaller annual loss as many tenants returned to offices after they were shuttered by the pandemic.

At the bottom of the European blue chip index, British bakery chain Greggs fell more than 6% after warning that cost pressures are likely to weigh on its 2022 earnings.

European stocks closed sharply lower again on Monday after the continental benchmark dropped 7% last week to record its worst week since March 2020.

Peace talks between Russia and Ukraine in Belarus have made little progress in abating the escalating war, and investors remain skittish after the U.S. revealed active discussions with European governments about banning imports of Russian crude oil and natural gas.

Such a move could pose a risk of stagflation — a period of slow economic growth and high unemployment coupled with high inflation — for the global economy.

Moscow has also warned that it could cut gas supplies to Europe via the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

The news initially sent oil prices to 13-year highs, though they gave back most of those gains throughout Monday’s trading session and were modestly higher on Tuesday.

Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency claimed on Monday night to have killed a second Russian general near Kharkiv, where intense fighting has unfolded in recent days.

Mainland Chinese markets led declines across the board in Asia-Pacific on Tuesday, while U.S. stock futures indicated a flat open on Wall Street later in the day, after the S&P 500 posted its worst day since October 2020 during regular trading on Monday.

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