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Panic Start To Week

By Craig ErlamStock MarketsMar 07, 2022 02:01PM ET
Panic Start To Week
By Craig Erlam   |  Mar 07, 2022 02:01PM ET
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European markets entered bear market territory at the start of the week as panic set in at the open in response to reports of the U.S. is looking to impose a ban on imported Russian oil.

To make matters worse, the reports appeared to suggest Europe is considering similar action as well, which would be a monumental blow for Russian producers and the economy. It would also be a massive problem for Europe, as there isn’t exactly an abundance of alternatives out there right now.

The initial reports sent oil prices soaring, with Brent crude almost touching $140 a barrel on the open, which, in turn, sent equity markets spiralling lower. It’s this kind of event risk that investors fear each Friday as they trigger enormous knee-jerk reactions on the open, big gaps and are usually exacerbated compared with what would be seen during the week.

And that’s exactly what we’ve seen today. As the dust has settled, fear of European bans on Russian oil – and potential retaliation or follow-up moves in gas or other commodities – has subsided. That has been helped by comments from Germany’s Finance Minister Christian Lindner stating that the country is against any push to stop Russian oil and gas imports.

Over the course of the morning, we’ve seen initial moves pared quite considerably. Europe is now relatively flat, as are U.S. futures, and sentiment will continue to be dictated by the constant flow of headlines relating to the invasion. For example, Russia has offered an immediate end to the invasion if Ukraine will amend its constitution and reject claims to enter any bloc, recognize Crimea as Russian and Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states. That doesn’t exactly fill me with hope.

Bitcoin Realigns With Risk Assets

Bitcoin was doing very well last week on the back of reports of cryptos benefiting from those seeking to avoid sanctions or protect cash in these unstable times in Eastern Europe. We saw it de-link to an extent from risky assets that it had been highly aligned to so far this year. But that doesn’t appear to have lasted, and the risk-aversion that swept through the markets late last week and early this appears to have taken Bitcoin along for the ride. It’s broken back below $40,000 after looking likely to break above $45,500 at times last week and now looks vulnerable to further bouts of risk-aversion, once more.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Panic Start To Week

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Panic Start To Week

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