World stocks mixed after Federal Reserve supports small rate hikes

Beijing — Thursday, global stock markets are mixed, with Russian troops hitting the country’s second-largest city and besieging two ports, with attacks on Ukraine devastating financial markets, raising oil prices by another $ 5. Did.

The economic downturn caused by Russia’s aggression widened, with Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Ratings downgrading Russia’s credit rating. They said the aggression and western sanctions undermined Moscow’s debt repayment capacity and increased the risk to the economy and stability.

In early trading, the London FTSE 100 fell 0.6% to 7,385.44 and the Frankfurt DAX fell 1.1% to 13,849.55. CAC in Paris fell 0.5% to 6,467.16.

On Wall Street, the future of the S & P 500 was 0.2% lower and the Dow Jones Industrial Average contract fell 0.1%.

The London Stock Exchange said it has suspended trading in shares of 27 companies associated with Russia, including the largest companies in energy and steel, including Lukoil, Gasprom, Sberbank, Rosneft and Magnitogorsk Works.

In the notice, the exchange said the suspension reflected recent economic sanctions and was “to maintain an orderly market in the light of market conditions.”

Stocks of these companies plummeted with the start of the Russian invasion last week.

MSCI, a global equity benchmarking provider, said it has removed Russian equities from its index, which is widely tracked by fund managers, and described the Russian stock market as “investable.”

Trading on the Moscow Stock Exchange remained closed on Thursday, with the exception of a limited number of trading rubles and derivatives and commodities.

In the currency market, the Russian ruble is down another 15% against the US dollar and is worth less than a cent. It has plummeted since the Western government imposed sanctions to block much of Russia’s access to the global financial system.

In Asian trade, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.7% to 26,577.27 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.6% to 22,467.34. The Shanghai Composite Index was 3,481.11 with a loss of less than 0.1%.

Epoch Times Photo
On March 3, 2022, currency traders are monitoring monitors at the Forex Trading Office at KEB Hana Bank Headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. (Ahn Yong Joon / AP photo)

The KOSPI in Seoul rose 1.6% to 2,747.08 and the S & P-ASX 200 in Sydney rose 0.5% to 7,151.40.

India’s Sensex fell 0.3% to 55,311.33. Markets in New Zealand and Southeast Asia have also advanced.

The Wall Street Benchmark S & P 500 Index rose Wednesday after Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed plans to raise key interest rates. He said he supported the traditional 0.25 percentage point increase rather than the significant increase recommended by some policy makers.

Powell said the impact of the Russian attack on the US economy is “extremely uncertain.”

“The market has responded positively to Powell’s subtle comments, a controversial interpretation of the statement,” the ING economist said in a report. “Volatility is key here, and uncertainty is important. It won’t go away anytime soon.”

Stock prices fluctuated significantly as investors tried to understand how the Russian attack would affect the supply of oil, wheat and other commodities and the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Traders were already worried about plans to fight inflation by withdrawing the ultra-low interest rates that the Fed and other central banks have pushed up the stock market.

In the energy market, electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange raised benchmark US crude oil by $ 3.25 per barrel to $ 113.85. Brent crude, the international oil price standard, increased from $ 3.15 to $ 116.08 per barrel in London.

Both gains were smaller than Wednesday’s surge above $ 7 a barrel, but still show an unusually wide margin for daily changes.

Leaders of OPEC and other major oil exporters have decided to stick to plans to gradually increase production on Wednesday. A coalition of Saudi-led OPEC members and Russia-led non-cartel members chose to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day in April.

The United States and other major oil consumers of the International Energy Agency have agreed this week to free 60 million barrels from strategic stockpiles to increase supply. However, it has little effect on market prices.

The dollar rose from 115.58 yen on Wednesday to 115.73 yen. The euro fell from $ 1.1126 to $ 1.1087.

Joe Macdonald

Associated Press