Russia is once again threatening European countries with nuclear weapons. Energy shortages are leading to rising oil prices

Rising Treasury bond yields, which tend to boost banks' lending margins, are forcing investors to bet that the Federal Reserve will aggressively use monetary tightening to curb inflationary pressures. The pace of yield growth put growing market sectors at risk, with large tech companies leading the decline yesterday. At the end of the day yesterday, the Dow Jones Index (US30) decreased by 0.33%, the S&P 500 Index (US500) lost 1.21%, and the NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) fell by 2.14%.

Major Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Citigroup Inc, reported first-quarter results that exceeded analysts' expectations but showed declining net income. Wells Fargo shares fell more than 5% after reporting a decline in its quarterly report.

European stock markets mostly rose yesterday. German DAX (DE30) gained 0.62%, French CAC 40 (FR40) jumped by 0.72%, Spanish IBEX 35 (ES35) gained 0.94%, British FTSE 100 (UK100) added 0.47%.

The European Central Bank has not changed its monetary policy. At a press conference, ECB President Christine Lagarde said the bank is sticking to its plans to end its stimulus program in the third quarter. However, no specific dates have been set, highlighting the uncertainty surrounding the war in Ukraine. The interest rate hike will begin sometime after the end of the asset purchase program. The ECB faces a difficult political compromise, which is much more difficult than in other markets. Analysts predict that the ECB will raise rates before the fourth quarter of this year or early 2023.

Oil prices are rising on news that the EU may impose a phased ban on Russian oil imports. Germany and other countries need time to find alternative suppliers. On Wednesday, the International Energy Agency warned that about 3 million barrels per day of Russian oil could be halted starting May 15 due to sanctions or buyers rejecting Russian cargoes. On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would work to redirect energy exports to the east as Europe tries to reduce its dependence on them, adding that European countries will not be able to abandon Russian gas immediately.

In addition to rising gasoline prices, the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has been going on for the second month, has led to a global spike in food prices, as Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of goods, including wheat and sunflower oil.

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin's closest allies has warned NATO that if Sweden and Finland joined the US-led military alliance, Russia would deploy nuclear weapons and hypersonic missiles in the European exclave. Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said that if Sweden and Finland join NATO, Russia would have to reinforce its land, naval, and air forces in the Baltic Sea. Medvedev also unequivocally raised the issue of the nuclear threat, saying that the "nuclear-free" Baltic Sea, where Russia has a Kaliningrad exclave between Poland and Lithuania, could no longer be discussed. Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said that Russia had deployed nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad even before the war. At the same time, US President Joe Biden said that he was ready to visit Kyiv in person.

The stock indices of the Asia-Pacific region traded up yesterday. Japan's Nikkei 225 (JP225) gained 1.22%, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 (AU200) gained 0.59%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (HK50) increased by 0.67%. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the central bank's monetary policy is aimed at achieving the 2% inflation target rather than manipulating currencies, rejecting the idea that the country should abandon its ultra-low interest rate policy to stop the sharp fall in prices. Japan's core consumer inflation accelerated in March from a year earlier but is still well behind the Bank of Japan's target.

China's leading offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to close its operations in the UK, Canada, and the US over fears in Beijing that assets could fall under Western sanctions.

Today is "Good Friday," so most financial capitals will be closed.

Main market quotes:

S&P 500 (F) (US500) 4,392.59 -54.00 (-1.21%)

Dow Jones (US30) 34,451.23 -113.36 (-0.33%)

DAX (DE40) 14,163.85 +87.41 (+0.62%)

FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,616.38 +35.58 (+0.47%)

USD Index 100.33 +0.46 (+0.46%)

Important events for today:
  • – US NY Empire State Manufacturing Index (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3);
  • – US Industrial Production (m/m) at 16:15 (GMT+3).

by Justforex, 2022.04.15

We advise you to get acquainted with the daily forecasts for the major currency pairs.

This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, and/or a guarantee, and/or a forecast of future events.

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