- U.S. and European stocks rose on Tuesday after Russia said it was pulling some troops from Ukraine’s border.
- Gold, seen as a safe haven in times of uncertainty, hit an 8-month high of $1,877.72 an ounce earlier.
- Russia’s Putin signaled a possible de-escalation after indicating that talks with the United States would continue.
Global stocks rose on Tuesday after Russia announced it was withdrawing some troops from the Ukrainian border, reducing fears of immediate hostilities with its neighboring country that have rattled investors over the past week.
Dow Jones futures rose 0.9%, while those on the S&P 500 rose 1.2% and the Nasdaq gained 1.7% at 4:40 a.m. ET, suggesting a start to trading higher later in the day.
A spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry noted“February 15, 2022 will go down in history as the day Western war propaganda failed. Humiliated and destroyed without a single shot.”
This follows Lavrov saying on Monday that diplomatic talks with the West “are far from exhausted”. Putin himself contradicted US warnings that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was days away.
He agreed with Lavrov – and said “agree” – to continue discussions with the United States and its allies on Moscow’s demands for Russian security guarantees.
In a move analysts said was hard to gauge, Ukrainian President Zelensky said Wednesday, initially identified as the likely day of an attack, would be a day of national unity.
Yet market participants seem to be in a moment of uncertainty. Gold, seen as a safe haven in times of mistrust, hit an eight-month high earlier on Tuesday but fell after Russia’s troop announcement. Gold futures were last down 0.5% at $1,859 an ounce, below an intraday high of $1,881 an ounce.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury bills rose 4 basis points to 2.033%.
Analysts had thought about the consequences of the potential of a warrior type situation. The biggest shock was expected to be in the energy sector, as rising gas prices would create not only the risk of high inflation in Europe, but also an acute shortage that could lead to possible rationing of households and businesses, according to SEB Research.
Crude prices have rallied for eight straight weeks and hit seven-year highs above $96 a barrel on Monday. They are up 23% year-to-date, after gaining more than 50% in 2021.
With tensions seemingly easing, Brent futures fell 2.5% to $94.23 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate fell 2.7% to $92.92 a barrel .
UBS forecast that if the situation between Russia and Ukraine were to deescalate, oil prices could experience a short-term pullback to around $90 a barrel.
“But regardless of the situation in Ukraine, we believe the outlook for oil remains positive, with prices likely to be supported by a fundamental imbalance in the global energy market,” UBS strategists said.
Europe also received a boost. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8%, the Euro Stoxx 600 1.05% and Frankfurt’s DAX 1.4%.
Most Asian indices closed lower ahead of the latest development in the Ukraine crisis, with the exception of mainland Chinese markets.
Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed down 0.8%, while Tokyo’s Nikkei fell 0.7%.
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