Biden administration is considering whether to ban the import of Russian oil
Wall Street stocks plunged on Monday, with indexes suffering the worst session of the year as Russia-Ukraine conflict kept intensifying. Fresh talks between Ukrainian and Russian officials made little progress on negotiating a cease-fire, adding to investor concerns. Meanwhile, Biden administration is considering whether to ban the import of Russian oil and energy products. Such step could intensify economic pressure, especially as commodities keep rallying already. As such, the Dow finished down 2.4%, the S&P 500 fell 3%, and the Nasdaq shed 3.6%.
Today in Asia, equities were down as markets were jolted by another surge in oil prices and other commodities, making investors search for safe havens from expanding sanctions against Russia after a third round of talks between Ukraine and Russia failed to produce upbeat results. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 1.39%, and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 2.35%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.83% despite the data showing that the NAB business confidence index came in at 13 to exceed expectations in February.
In currencies, the USD index advanced to fresh long-term highs around 99.40 on Monday before retreating marginally. Still, the greenback stays above 99.00, retaining a bullish tone as risk aversion continues to persist. Against this backdrop, EURUSD dipped to 1.0800 at the start of the week before bouncing today. The pair came off lows to settle above 1.0900 ahead of the European trading session amid the oversold conditions. The euro was also helped by upbeat economic data. Germany’s January industrial production jumped 2.7% versus 0.5% m/m expected. Still, the common currency will likely stay on the defensive and could see fresh lows in the coming days should the mentioned support give up.