Stocks wavered Friday as investors monitored the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war, with energy politics and Europe’s reliance on Russian gas driving sentiment.
Futures for the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 10 points, or less than 0.1%, after the index rallied 349 points on Thursday to close at 34,707.
futures signaled a start 0.1% lower and the
was poised to slip 0.2%.
Overseas, the pan-European
was flat, and Tokyo’s
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has roiled both equity and commodity markets over the past month, and remains a key driver of investor sentiment. The war has seen commodity prices spike, risking exacerbating already-high inflation, and also threatening a wider economic downturn in Europe.
On the ground, the two countries remain locked in conflict. But this week has seen developments on the diplomatic front with meetings focused on the war from the NATO Western military alliance, G-7 group of countries, and the European Union. While the EU has failed to ratchet up sanctions on Russian energy, the U.S. has pledged to increase liquified natural gas (LNG) shipments to the EU by 15 billion cubic meters this year.
“The U.S. finally seems to be getting its act together around supplying Europe with more natural gas,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at broker Oanda. “They could do much more still.”
In the commodity space, oil prices fell back, with futures for U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude down 2.5% to below $110 a barrel.
“The EU declining to sanction Russian oil has been given as the main reason, but I believe that a possible coordinated [U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve] release, and news that the Caspian CPC pipeline is resuming partial production are the more likely reasons for the fall,” noted Halley.
Write to Jack Denton at firstname.lastname@example.org