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Russia Hits Fleeing Civilians; Le Pen Risk, Food Prices - What's Moving Markets

Published 04/08/2022, 05:53 AM
Updated 04/08/2022, 06:15 AM
© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith -- A Russian attack kills scores of fleeing civilians at a Ukrainian rail station. Russia's central bank cuts interest rates sharply to stave off a looming economic and financial sector crisis. Stocks are set to open higher, even though bond yields continue to advance, Marine Le Pen senses victory in France's presidential elections, and world food prices are rising at their fastest pace ever. Here's what you need to know in world financial markets on Friday, 8th April.

1. Russia attacks fleeing civilians

Russian rocket artillery hit a train station in eastern Ukraine, killing over 30 people and injuring over 100 more, is one of the most shocking incidents yet in the six-week-long war.

The victims had gathered at Kramatorsk station as part of a mass evacuation of civilians ahead of an expected major Russian attack on eastern Ukraine. Russia’s Defense Ministry first said it had used high-precision missiles against three stations in the region, then accused Ukraine of staging the incident.

The attack comes as the EU confirmed its latest sanctions package, which bans imports of Russian coal. Japan also banned Russian coal imports on Friday. However, the attack is certain to raise the pressure on European governments, especially Germany, to apply the same treatment to Russian oil.

2. Russia cuts rates to stave off financial crisis

Russia’s central bank surprisingly cut its key interest rate by 3 percentage points to 17%, saying that the balance of risks in the economy had shifted away from inflation to economic recession and financial instability. 

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The move reflects a degree of success in cushioning the immediate impact of western sanctions on the Russian economy, but analysts still expect gross domestic product to contract by around 10% this year. Many businesses, including much of the country’s manufacturing sector, have already had to idle capacity as sanctions have hit the import of vital components. Russia releases fourth quarter GDP numbers for 2021 along with March CPI data at 12 PM ET (1600 GMT)

Official exchange rates for ruble had recovered to their prewar level ahead of the move, although economists have played down the importance of that because the central bank has imposed capital controls that don’t allow the currency to be freely bought and sold, while withdrawals from dollar accounts held locally by businesses and individuals are still subject to strict limits.

3. Stocks set to open higher, shrugging off rising yields

U.S. stock markets are set to open higher later, building on Thursday’s tentative recovery at the end of a week in which expectations for future U.S. interest rates have been aggressively repriced.

By 6:20 AM ET (1020 GMT), Dow Jones Futures were up 74 points, or 0.2%, while S&P 500 Futures were also up 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 Futures were up 0.1%. The three main cash indices had gained by between 0.1% and 0.5% on Thursday.

That’s despite further advances in bond yields which, in signaling higher capital costs for the broader economy, ought to weigh on stocks. The benchmark 10-Year Treasury yield rose another 2 basis points to 2.69%, the latest in a string of three-year highs hit this week.

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Stocks likely to be in focus later include Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), whose factory in Austin, Tx., was opened with great fanfare by CEO Elon Musk on Thursday, and Robinhood (NASDAQ:HOOD), after Goldman Sachs, the lead underwriter when the online brokerage went public, downgraded the stock to a 'sell'. It’s already lost nearly two-thirds of its value since listing.

4. French election jitters as Le Pen closes gap on Macron

France heads to the polls at the weekend for the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections.

The opinion poll lead of incumbent President Emmanuel Macron over the right-wing populist Marine Le Pen has shriveled from some 30 percentage points at the outbreak of Russia’s war in Ukraine to an average of only 3.5% according to most recent polls. One published on Thursday even suggested that Le Pen would beat Macron in the run-off in two weeks’ time (assuming they both progress).

French bonds and stock have underperformed the rest of Europe sharply this week as the chances of a Le Pen victory have risen. Her platform revolves largely around tackling the cost-of-living crisis through greater state intervention.

5. Global food prices on a tear; WASDE report eyed

Global food prices are rising at their fastest pace since records began, according to the UN.

The Food and Agricultural Organization’s world food price index rose 12.6% in March, according to data released on Friday, bringing its annual rise to 34% - the third straight record high. The FAO described the move as a “giant leap.”

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The increase is due largely – but by no means exclusively – to the disruption of wheat and other grain-related products from the Black Sea since Russia invaded Ukraine.  Further increases are likely due to the massive shock to fertilizer prices from the sharp rally in natural gas over the last year.

The U.S. government releases its latest forecasts for world supply and demand for grains and other selected agricultural commodities at 12 PM ET.

Latest comments

no open investing.
Hlo sir..
Someone must stop this mindless massacre and bring Putin to book! But more and more it looks like NATO is not walking the talk. The Ukranians seem to have unwittingly become the sacrificial pawns inthebgame!
Putin the biggest world Murderer.
true that, alongside bush and blair
Sunday= good bye little Gilman Sachs Napoleon
If you cannot see this, your government does not want you to be informed:
lies,lies,lies, Russians not that stupid. Mainstream media brainwashing
Not stupid?  Then why did Putin purge so many from the gov't/military since he invaded?
again! do not listen to mainstream media
i dont trust a damn word that is printed in the globalist media about joe bidens favorite money laundering and bioweapons research operation, aka the corrupt and illegitimate zelensky regime. their only hope of dragging the world into ww3 is atrocity propaganda, and they have been caught doing this before. just like the syrian nerve gas charade, always ask yourself, "qui bono?" globohomeau is my enemy, not the russians defending the russian speaking people under attack in donbass and resisting nato expansion. the corrupt ukrainian regime had years to stop cluster bombing civilians in donbass and be reasonable.
Civilized nations have ways of dealing with the accusations you made. Don't you find it interesting that none of these supposed Ukrainian bombings were never brought to the UN Security Council? They weren't because they are not true. Russia has you fooled.
where are the photos??!!!These days, alot of news channels unfortunately are biased and try to report inaccurately, which is why they are highly doubled.I call this article a BS!!
you must be sitting in russia if you can't get access to the photos of this heinous war crime
Here is a link. If you can't see it, your government is keeping you blind and stupid:
The article did not show any photos, so before you go ahead of comments and attacking people comments, at least think! Second of all, sensible people hear both sides before making a judgment, and we know news outlets lie, but I guess there is no point in teaching someone who lacks common sense!
Czech Republic was shipping tanks and other military hardware to Ukraine via the railway.
  Melania disproved that  ;-)
Be best!
I'm pretty sure there were no tanks from Czech Republic since it's in the east of Ukraine, there's no way they would have gotten there so fast. Regardless, even if they had hit the tanks, there'd be casualties among civilians anyway. Imgine all that amunition blowing up one after another.
No mention as to the effect of the massive money printing over the last two years by the central banks, has had on price increases.
Le Pen risk ? You mean Le Pen hopes! Macron is only a rubber doll.
Le Pen will bring back the Vichy gov't when Russian forces roll into France.
 LePen couldn't wait to be Putin's ally again, she actually said that out loud, on record, in an interview, just last week!
What's MOVING MARKETS? Big money MANIPULATION.:PM.futures Now Red???? Who didn't see this coming?
Kramatorsk station - major Ukr military supply location with lots of military trains.
You are defending an attack that Russia denies. You boys need to get your stories straight.
 Russia did admitted to attacks: "Russia’s Defense Ministry first said it had used high-precision missiles against three stations in the region", then blamed Ukraine afterward.  How stupid are people to believe Russia's words?
Russia also repeatedly denied that they are going to invade Ukraine. You still trust them?
Despicable Russians had to resort to *****civilians. NATO should us troops to support Ukraine. Russians do not listen to reasons. Only use of force against filthy Russians could stop these massacres.
 I think it's safer for you to go back to those Q websites, reality is clearly too much for you to handle
the process of demoralization of the NPC is unfortunately permanent and irreversible. they will just absorb whatever programming update they are installed with from one current thing to the next. cheers to you, fellow live human. we will win in the end. just do what you can to avoid the culling they have planned for the sheep like this one.
beep boop. orange man bad. need 4th booster. putin is hitler. hitler is ultimate bad thing. white people bad cus racisisms. gender not real. need 5th booster. porn is only free speech that matters. jesus is bad. children are bad. nuclear family is racist. bad for muh global warming. slava ukraini. beep boop beep boop beep boop
Sanctions is good, but what Ukrainians could really use is proper air defense systems. All those innocent lives could have been saved if the West had provided Ukraine with it.
do you work for the Air Defense System company?
I wish. Do you?
hahaha. military industrial complex shill BTFO. "you see what we need, is a never ending money pit for US defense contractors to prolong the loss of life and delay the inevitable"
shrugging off rising yields🤣🤣🤣 Fed buying..that's moving da market.
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, Syria was dropping chemical agents on it's civilian population, Russia is attacking a railway - targeting civilians. When are NATO gonna put troups on the ground in Ukraine??
If Iraq had wmd where did they go. Did Bush eaten it up
haha cant tell if based sarcasm or actual king of the NPCs. hopefully these false flags are losing effect.
im going with masterfully executed troll. nice job. WE HAVE TO STOP PUTLER BEFORE HE SINKS THE LUISITANIA WITH WMD IN THE GULF OF TONKIN!!
Food prices up 34% YoY. What could go wrong? Recession is least of our worries.
"Food prices up 34% YoY" IS recession -- not sure what your point is.
russians are systematically targeting civilians now. this is turning into a genocide
Russian mothers: Ukraine has 7,000 of your sons in morgues waiting for you to come get them.
Study the Beslan hostage crisis of 2004 and you may come to the conclusion that life has little value in Russia, even a child's life.
I think one day we will find out the truth with a reasonable degree of certainty, just like in the case of similar bombing attacks carried out during the siege of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-95), for example. It will take time, no doubt about that.
I hear the Russians have this weapon that's causing sudden cardiovascular disease in 15 year olds... oh wait
Russians will go after #BTC for sure .. almost only way to survive
 maybe do some research before spewing rubbish  Countries With the Largest Gold Reserves in the World United States: 8,133.5 tons. ... Germany: 3,359.1 tons. ... Italy: 2,451.8 tons. ... France: 2,436.5 tons. ... Russia: 2,301.6 tons.
 you sure that’s not paper gold for the US?  If you are relying on Comex figures then I have some land to sell you.
 you sure that’s not paper gold for the US?  If you are relying on Comex figures then I have some land to sell you.
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