Wall Street pointed to a lower open on Thursday and oil continued its fast, upward trajectory after a brief, sharp selloff the day before.
Futures for Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.8% as Russian attacks on Ukraine intensified as the fighting entered its third week.
Markets rallied on Wednesday after oil fell 12%, but economists warned that was due to changes in futures and other factors, not developments in the war. On Thursday, prices rebounded over $5 a barrel in London and $4 in New York.
Benchmark US crude is up more than 50% this year.
Continued market volatility is likely in the coming days as conflict rages in Ukraine. Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers meet in Turkey for talks.
“Markets seem to have clung to a few somewhat less dismal indices as an excuse to rally,” ING economists said in a report. “The basis for this optimism – it’s actually quite thin.”
In early trading, the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.2% and the DAX in Frankfurt slipped 2.8%. The CAC 40 in Paris fell by 2.5%.
The decline came as the European Union’s statistics agency reported that inflation in the 19 countries that use the euro rose 5.8% a year in February, a record for the fourth consecutive month. .
European economies are importing more Russian oil and gas and face a greater potential shock from the war. That could prompt European governments to resort to more economic stimulus, pushing up stock prices.
European stocks had rebounded on Wednesday even more than the US market, with the German DAX jumping 7.9% and the French CAC 40 7.1%.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 3.9% on Thursday to 25,690.40 and the Shanghai Composite Index added 1.2% to 3,296.09. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong advanced 1.3% to 20,890.26.
The Kospi in Seoul jumped 2.2% to 2,680.32 as trading resumed after a day off for South Korea’s presidential election.
South Korea’s President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol said on Thursday he plans to strengthen the country’s alliance with the United States, fortify the military and deal harshly with North Korean provocations, hours later. after winning the country’s hard-fought elections to become its next leader.
Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 1.1% to 7,130.80. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also grew.
Benchmark U.S. crude rose $4.29 to $112.99 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract plunged $15 to $108.70 on Wednesday. Brent crude, used as the basis for international prices, advanced $5.14 to $116.28 a barrel in London. It lost $16.84 the previous session to $111.14.
On Wednesday, the S&P 500 rose 2.6% on Wednesday for its biggest daily gain in 12 years as prices swung wildly. The Dow added 2% and the Nasdaq composite gained 3.6%.
The war has broad implications for global markets and economies. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia and the third largest supplier of nickel used in the manufacture of electric car batteries and stainless steel. Russia and Ukraine are major wheat exporters.
The White House banned imports of Russian crude to punish the Kremlin and the US House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to back that.
The House also on Wednesday night approved a massive spending bill that would rush $13.6 billion in US aid to battered Ukraine and its European allies,
Prior to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, investors were already worried about plans by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to rein in inflation by scrapping ultra-low interest rates and other stimulus measures.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that U.S. businesses created a near-record 11.3 million jobs in January. The trend is helping push up wages and adding to inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy
Investors expect Fed policymakers to vote next week to raise its benchmark short-term rate by a quarter of a percentage point. It would be the first such increase since 2018.
In the foreign exchange markets, the dollar rose to 115.92 yen from 115.85 yen on Wednesday. The euro fell to $1.1038 from $1.1077.