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Markets drop as Russia-Ukraine talks make no progress

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US stocks fell after European markets dropped once negotiations between Russian and Ukraine foreign ministers ended quickly, with little progress on a cease-fire or safe passage for civilians trying to flee the war. US inflation increased 7.9% in February, a fresh 40-year high, and just above the 7.8% estimate.

SPI futures are indicating a 0.5% drop on the S&P/ASX 200 at the open in Australia and New Zealand’s NZX 50 was trading flat after the first hour.

US and EU stocks

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 112.18 points to 33,174.07, after rallying more than 650 points in the previous session. The S&P 500 shed 0.4% to 4259.52. The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 1% to 13,129.96, dragged down by losses in Apple and Meta Platforms.

Oracle slide 6% after failing to meet earnings expectations. Microsoft dipped 1%. Apple and Meta Platforms fell 2.7% and 1.7%, respectively. Tesla ticked 2.4% lower. Rivian shares lost 9% after the EV maker said the first quarter was off to a slow start. Amazon shares jumped 5.4% after the company announced a 20-for-1 stock split and US$10 billion buyback. CrowdStrike rallied 12.5% ​​following an earnings beat and raising its outlook. Energy stocks Chevron and Exxon Mobil rose 2.7% and 3.1%, respectively.

In US financials, Goldman Sachs dropped 1.1% after announcing it is shuttering its Russia business, becoming one of the first major global investment banks to do so after the invasion of Ukraine. JPMorgan made a similar announcement on Thursday afternoon. JPMorgan fell 1.2%.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX lost 3%, the French CAC was down 2.8% and the FTSE 100 in London closed 1.3% lower.

The US 10-year Treasury yield broke above 2% for the first time since February 25.

The European Central Bank said it plans to end its bond-buying program in the third quarter of this year, sooner than expected, if the economic data allows for it. The ECB’s decision comes ahead of next week’s US Federal Reserve meeting. The central bank is expected to raise rates by at least 25 basis points.

Commodities

Since 24 February, when Russia invaded Ukraine, West Texas Intermediate crude oil has gained more than 14%, while Brent crude oil is up about 15%. WTI was lower this morning at around US$106 per barrel, while Brent slide 1% to near US$109 per barrel.

Spot gold is holding below US$2000, trading around US$1995.60 an ounce.

Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin slipped under US$40,000, at US$39,350.

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