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European Stocks Mixed; FTSE 100 Outperforms as Crude Gains

Stock Markets Mar 21, 2022 09:12
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By Peter Nurse - European stock markets traded in a mixed fashion Monday, with the FTSE 100 outperforming on the back of its heavily-weighted resource companies as the ongoing conflict in Ukraine resulted in crude price gains.

By 4:55 AM ET (0855 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 0.1% lower, the CAC 40 in France traded flat, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 gained 0.4%.

The conflict triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 is entering its fifth week. Diplomacy efforts are ongoing, with Turkey's foreign minister stating on Sunday that the two sides were nearing agreement on "critical" issues, but the fighting continues, particularly around the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

German producer prices increased 25.9% year on year in February, data showed Monday, the largest rise since 1949, mainly because of energy prices.

Oil prices jumped further Monday following a weekend attack on the Saudi Aramco (SE:2222) refinery joint venture in Yanbu, as well as concerns the EU will join the United States in imposing an oil embargo on Russia. 

U.S. President Joe Biden is set to arrive in Brussels on Thursday for summits with the members of NATO, as well as the European Union governments to discuss their response to Russia’s aggression. 

The West has already imposed a number of punishing sanctions on Moscow for its invasion, including a freezing of the assets of the Russian central bank. These moves have yet to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the fighting, and the obvious next move is for the bloc to target Russian oil.

This would be an economically tough choice, as the EU relies on Russia for 40% of its gas, with Germany the most dependent of the bloc's large economies.

By 4:55 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 4.5% higher at $107.73 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 4.2% to $112.50.

Looking at the corporate sector, the rising crude prices has buoyed the energy sector, with BP (NYSE:BP) stock up 2.2%, Eni (MI:ENI) stock up 2.2%, and TotalEnergies (PA:TTEF) stock up 1.3%.

Elsewhere, Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) stock rose 1.3% after the German car manufacturer’s Chinese unit said on Monday it will form joint ventures with Huayou Cobalt and Tsingshan Group, in a bid to control battery costs at a time of surging raw material prices.

Renault (PA:RENA) stock rose 1.8% after the French car maker announced Monday it has resumed production at its Moscow plant.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.2% to $1,926.30/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1057.


European Stocks Mixed; FTSE 100 Outperforms as Crude Gains

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