In a volatile week, investors are keeping an eye on the war in Ukraine and the price of commodities following a dip in European stocks on Thursday. Early trade saw the pan-European Stoxx 600 decline by 1%, with autos losing 2.8% to lead losses as most sectors and major exchanges slipped into the red.
Index And Asia-Pacific Shares Surge
The index closed 4.7% higher on Wednesday, its best day since March 2020. Commodity prices dipped sharply following a recent surge, and diplomatic talks between Russia and Ukraine are boosting global risk sentiment.
In addition, Asia-Pacific shares surged on Thursday, picking up the baton from Wall Street’s overnight rally. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose more than 4%, leading gains in the region. In early premarket trading, U.S. stock futures were relatively unchanged after the S&P 500 had its strongest day since June 2020 on Wednesday.
Markets Attuned To Ukraine Developments
Markets have been closely monitoring developments in Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s invasion. Late on Wednesday, Ukraine accused Russian aircraft of bombing a children’s hospital in Mariupol despite a cease-fire deal that permitted evacuations.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has accused Washington of waging a de facto “economic war against Russia”. This came after the Biden administration imposed a ban on the import of Russian oil. Moreover, the U.K. has also declared its intention to phase out imports from Russia by the end of the year.
Thursday afternoon will also be a day of interest for European investors, as the European Central Bank releases a monetary policy statement. The prospect of surging energy prices exacerbating already high inflation and a possible slowing down of economic growth makes it difficult for policymakers to decide how quickly to tighten the ECB’s historically loose monetary policy.
In corporate news, Hugo Boss reports earnings before the bell on Thursday. Credit Suisse releases its annual report, while Deutsche Bank presents its Investor Deep Dive.
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