Six Flags Entertainment Corp
27.29 - 29.26
26.84 - 47.61
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some interesting facts: https://lplresearch.com/2022/05/18/six-things-to-know-about-bear-markets/
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Brazilian Stock Exchange B3 to Launch Bitcoin Futures Within Six Months https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/05/16/brazilian-stock-exchange-b3-to-launch-bitcoin-futures-within-six-months/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=rss&utm_campaign=headlines
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**@WSJmarkets:** U.S. stocks were down, suggesting major indexes could struggle after a selloff that has pushed the S&P 500 down for six consecutive weeks https://t.co/kDhOH56OhF https://twitter.com/WSJmarkets/status/1526195978633728000
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By Wayne Cole SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian share markets stumbled on Monday and oil prices slid after shockingly weak data from China underlined the deep damage lockdowns are doing to the world's second-largest economy. China's April retail sales plunged 11.1% on the year, almost twice the fall forecast, while industrial output dropped 2.9% when analysts had looked for a slight increase. "The data paint a picture of a stalling economy and one in need of more aggressive stimulus and a rapid easing of COVID restrictions, neither of which are likely to be forthcoming anytime soon," said Mitul Kotecha, head of emerging markets strategy at TD Securities. "China's weaker growth trajectory will add to pressure on its markets and fuel a further worsening in global economic prospects, weighing on risk assets. We expect further CNY depreciation." In Europe, EUROSTOXX 50 and FTSE futures both eased 0.3%. S&P 500 stock futures lost early gains to drop 0.6%, while Nasdaq futures fell 0.5%. Both are far from last year's highs, with the S&P having fallen for six straight weeks. China's central bank had also disappointed those hoping for a rate easing, though on Sunday Beijing did allow a further cut in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers. Monday's data overshadowed news that Shanghai aimed to reopen broadly and allow normal life to resume from June 1. Chinese blue chips shed 0.8% in reaction, while commodity currencies took a knock led by the Australian dollar which is often used as a liquid proxy for the yuan. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost early gains to stand flat, following a slide of 2.7% last week, when it hit a two-year low. Japan's Nikkei clung to gains of 0.5%, having lost 2.1% last week even as a weak yen offered some support to exporters. Sky-high inflation and rising interest rates drove U.S. consumer confidence sink to an 11-year low in early May and raised the stakes for April retail sales due on Tuesday. DOWNGRADING GROWTH A hyper-hawkish Federal Reserve has driven a sharp tightening in financial conditions, which led Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) to cut its 2022 GDP growth forecast to 2.4%, from 2.6%. Growth in 2023 is now seen at 1.6% on an annual basis, down from 2.2%. "Our financial conditions index has tightened by over 100 basis points, which should create a drag on GDP growth of about 1pp," said Goldman Sachs economist Jan Hatzius. "We expect that the recent tightening in financial conditions will persist, in part because we think the Fed will deliver on what is priced." Futures imply 50 basis-point hikes in both June and July and rates between 2.5-3.0% by year end, from the current 0.75-1.0%. Fears that the tightening will lead to recession spurred a rally in bonds last week, which saw 10-year yields drop 21 basis points from peaks of 3.20%. Early Monday, yields were easing again to reach 2.91%. The pullback saw the dollar come off a two-decade top, though not by much. The dollar index was last at 104.560, and within spitting distance of the 105.010 peak. The euro stood at $1.0403, having got as low as $1.0348 last week. The dollar did lose ground on the yen, which seemed to get a safe-haven bid in the wake of the China data, slipping to 129.02 yen. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin was last up 2% at $30,354, having touched its lowest since December 2020 last week following the collapse of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin. In commodity markets, gold was pressured by high yields and a strong dollar and was last at $1,809 an ounce having shed 3.8% last week. Oil prices reversed course as the dire Chinese data rekindled worries about demand. Brent lost $2.31 to $109.24, while U.S. crude shed $2.14 to $108.35.
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bulls only been thirsty for like six weeks
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lol I did it!!!! The perfect start. I have just finished my first run through the course which has taken me six months. So this week I flapped my fledgling wings and took a leap out of the nest into the semi real world of a demo account. I am proud to say I have a perfect record. Four trades and four losses. Yipppeeeee! @coulldc Hi David, I'm afraid that when I said the other day that I wouldn't bend anything I wasn't being strictly accurate cos I sure bent my beak when I crash landed. The good news is that I managed to identify some lessons so tomorrow is another day. Onwards and upwards (I hope) 😁
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By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Shares sank to a 1-1/2 year low on Thursday and the dollar hit its highest in two decades, as fears mounted that fast-rising inflation will drive interest rates higher and bring the global economy to a standstill. Those nerves and a German warning that Russia was now using energy supplies as a "weapon" yanked Europe's top markets down 2% (EU) and left MSCI's index of world shares nearly 20% lower for the year. The global growth-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars fell about 0.8% to almost two-year lows. The Chinese yuan slid to a 19-month trough while Europe's worries shoved the euro to its lowest since early 2017.. Nearly all the main volatility gauges were signalling danger. Bitcoin was caught in the fire-sale of risky crypto assets as it fell another 8% to $26,570, having been near $40,000 just a week ago and almost $70,000 last November. "We have had big moves," UBS's UK Chief Investment Officer Caroline Simmons, said referring as well to bond markets and economic expectations. "And when the market falls it does tend to fall quite fast." Tensions were stoked again as Finland confirmed it would apply to join NATO "without delay" in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a war that has already had a major economic effect by driving up global energy and food prices. Data on Wednesday had showed U.S. inflation running persistently hot. Headline consumer prices rose 8.3% in April year-on-year, fractionally slower than the 8.5% pace of March, but still above economists' forecasts for 8.1%. U.S. markets had whipsawed after the news, closing sharply lower as Fed rate hike worries took hold again. Futures prices were pointing to another round of 0.2%-0.7% falls for the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow Jones Industrial later. [.N] The near 20% drop in MSCI's world stocks index since January is its worst start to a year in recent memory. "We're now very much embedded with at least two further (U.S.) hikes of 50 basis points on the agenda," said Damian Rooney, director of institutional sales at Argonaut in Perth. "I think we probably were delusional six months ago with the rise of U.S. equities on hopes and prayers and the madness of the meme stocks," he added. SELL IN MAY The main pan-Asia Pacific indexes closed down 2.5% at a 22-month low overnight. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.8%, while Indonesian shares and Hong Kong property stocks both slumped more than 3%, as did South Africa's bourse later. (T) The guaranteed returns of bond markets meant U.S. Treasuries were bid, especially at the long end, flattening the yield curve as investors braced for near-term hikes to hurt long-run growth - an outcome that would most likely slow or even reverse rate hikes. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to prices, dropped to 2.82% on Thursday from over 3% at the start of the week, while Germany's 10-year yield, the benchmark for Europe, fell as much as 15 bps to 0.85%, its lowest in nearly two weeks. "I think a lot of it is catch up from what happened yesterday, and also there's still a lot of negative sentiment in the U.S. Treasury curve," said Lyn Graham-Taylor, senior rates strategist at Rabobank. The prospect of the fastest hike in Fed rates in decades is driving up the U.S. dollar and taking the heaviest toll on riskier assets that shot up through two years of pandemic-era stimulus and low-rate lending. The Nasdaq is down nearly 8% in May so far and more than 25% this year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Tech index slid 1.5% on Thursday and is off more than 30% this year. Cryptocurrency markets are also melting down, with the collapse of the so-called stablecoin TerraUSD highlighting the turmoil as well as the selling in bitcoin and next-biggest-crypto, ether. A weakening growth picture outside the United States is battering investor confidence, too, as war in Ukraine threatens an energy crisis in Europe and lengthening COVID-19 lockdowns in China throw another spanner into supply chain chaos. Nomura estimated this week that 41 Chinese cities are in full or partial lockdowns, making up 30% of the country's GDP. Heavyweight property developer Sunac said it missed a bond interest payment and will miss more as China's real estate sector remains in the grip of a credit crunch. The yuan fell to a 19-month low of 6.7631 and has dropped almost 6% in under a month. [CNY/] The Australian dollar fell 0.8% to a near two-year low of $0.6879. The kiwi slid by even more to $0.6240. The euro drooped below $1.04 and the yen to 128.5 which kept the dollar index at a two-decade peak. Sterling was at a two-year low of just under $1.22 as well as economic data there caused worries and concerns grew that Britain's Brexit deal with the EU was in danger of unravelling again due to the same old problem of Northern Ireland's border. In commodity trade, oil wound back a bit of Wednesday's surge on growth worries. Brent crude futures fell 2.3% to $104.93 a barrel, while highly growth-sensitive metals copper and tin slumped over 3.5% and 9% respectively. That marked copper's lowest level since October. [MET/L]
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By Tom Westbrook SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian stocks fell to an almost two-year low and the dollar rose to multi-year highs on Thursday as data showed U.S. inflation persistently hot, deepening investor worries about the economic toll of aggressive interest rate hikes to tame it. U.S. markets whipsawed after the news, then closed sharply lower. S&P 500 futures gave up early gains to fall 0.2% in the Asia session. European futures also fell, with EuroSTOXX 50 futures down 2% and FTSE futures down 1.6%. Bitcoin, leading a fire-sale of risky assets as rate hikes gather steam, fell 7% to $26,970. It was near $40,000 a week ago and is 60% beneath its peak six months ago. The growth-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars fell about 0.8% to almost two-year lows. The Chinese yuan slid to a 19-month trough. Headline U.S. consumer prices rose 8.3% for the 12 months to April, slower than the 8.5% pace of a month earlier, but higher than market forecasts for 8.1%. Traders said it underscored concern that rates will rise quickly in response. "We're now very much embedded with at least two further (U.S.) hikes of 50 basis points on the agenda. For equity markets that really is the end of free money," said Damian Rooney, director of institutional sales at Argonaut in Perth. "I think we probably were delusional six months ago with the rise of U.S. equities on hopes and prayers and the madness of the meme stocks, and suddenly were going a little bit back to what is reality," he said. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 2% to a 22-month low. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.7%. Treasuries were steady in Asia, but selling at the short end and a rally at the longer end has flattened the yield curve as investors brace for near-term hikes to hurt long-run growth. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell six basis points (bps) overnight and dropped a further 2.6 bps in Tokyo trade to 2.8967%. The gap between two-year and 10-year yields narrowed 3.5 bps. "There should be a tipping point in how far the Fed can be pressed before odds clearly point towards a hard landing," said NatWest Markets' U.S. rates strategist Jan Nevruzi. SELL IN MAY The rates outlook is driving up the U.S. dollar and taking the heaviest toll on riskier assets that shot up through two years of stimulus and low-rate lending. The Nasdaq is down nearly 8% in May so far and more than 25% this year. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Tech index slid 1.5% on Thursday and is off more than 30% this year. Cryptocurrency markets are also melting down, with the collapse of the so-called stablecoin TerraUSD highlighting the turmoil as well as the selling in bitcoin and next-biggest-crypto, ether. A weakening growth picture outside the United States is battering investor confidence, too, as war in Ukraine threatens an energy crisis in Europe and lengthening COVID-19 lockdowns in China throw another spanner into supply chain chaos. Nomura estimated this week that 41 Chinese cities are in full or partial lockdowns, making up 30% of the country's GDP. Property developer Sunac China said it missed a bond interest payment and will miss more as China's real estate sector remains in the grip of a credit crunch. The yuan fell to a 19-month low of 6.7631 and has dropped almost 6% in under a month. The Australian dollar fell 0.8% to a near two-year low of $0.6879. The kiwi slid by a similar margin to $0.6240, though the euro and yen held steady to keep the dollar index just shy of a two-decade peak. Sterling was at a two-year low of $1.2204. In commodity trade, oil wound back a bit of Wednesday's surge as growth worries dampened fear of gas supply disruptions in Europe. Brent crude futures fell 1.3% to $106.90 a barrel. British activity and growth data is due later in the day.
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By Danilo Masoni MILAN (Reuters) - World shares turned lower on Wednesday and bond yields shot up after U.S. data showed inflation there slowed down less than expected last month, cementing expectations of aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. U.S. futures turned negative after data showed U.S. annual consumer price growth slowed to 8.3% in April from 8.5% in March, suggesting that inflation has probably peaked. The number, however, was above the 8.1% analyst had expected. Paolo Zanghieri, senior economist at Generali (BIT:GASI) Investments, said the data confirmed the view that the return of inflation to more tolerable values will take time. "Overall today's data add to the case of the strong front-loading called for by (|Fed Chair Jerome) Powell in the last meeting, who also suggested the possibility of two more 50bps rise in June and July," Zanghieri said. "However, this will keep concern on the possibility of a recession high, and ultimately weakening growth may lead the Fed to temper it tightening after the summer." MSCI's benchmark for global stocks was flat by 1247 GMT, having earlier risen as much as 0.3%. On Tuesday, the index fell to its lowest level since November 2020 on fears Fed tightening could significantly slow down the global economy. U.S. equity futures turned sharply negative, with the Nasdaq and S&P 500 e-minis down 1% and 0.6% respectively. The pan-European STOXX 600 equity benchmark index also trimmed gains, and was last up 0.2%. Money markets ramped up bets of Fed rate hikes by end-2022 to 208 basis points after the U.S. inflation numbers, compared to around 195 bps before. Earlier in Asia, equities squeezed higher from near two-year lows. Chinese blue chips rose 1.4% after Shanghai officials said half the city had achieved "zero COVID" status, and after U.S. President Joe Biden said he was considering eliminating Trump era tariffs on China. Chinese data released on Wednesday, however, showed consumer prices rose 2.1% from a year earlier, more than expected and at the fastest pace in five months, partly due to food prices. YIELDS SHOOT UP After falling to their lowest levels in almost a week earlier on Wednesday, benchmark 10-year Treasury yields turned positive after the inflation data, marching back towards the three-year high of 3.203% hit on Monday. The 10-year yield was last up 6 basis points on the day to 3.0502%, while the 2-year yield, which often reflects the Fed rate outlook, jumped 11 bps to 2.717%. Euro area government bond yields also sold off following the U.S. data, sending German 10-year yields up 8 bps to 1.084%. Bets over aggressive Fed tightening have also supported the dollar this year. The dollar index, which measures its performance against six main peers, reversed earlier weakness and was last up 0.1% to 104.04, closer to the two-decade high of 104.19 reached at the start of the week. The Fed last week raised interest rates by 50 basis points and Chair Jerome Powell said two more such hikes were likely at the upcoming policy meetings. There has also been speculation in markets the U.S. central bank will need to move by 75 basis points at one meeting and currently money markets are pricing over 190 basis points of combined rate hikes by year. "The current problem is that the market is convinced that the Fed is determined to fight inflation and therefore willing to tolerate market volatility and some demand destruction more than in the past. Personally, I'm less convinced of this determination," said Giuseppe Sersale, fund manager at Anthilia. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) forecasts 2022 global economic growth to be less than half of last year's at 2.9%, down from a previous estimate of 3.2%. The U.S. bank also cut its year-end target for the S&P 500 by 11% to 3,900 points, while raising its U.S. 10-year yield forecast by 55 bps to 3.15%. Oil bounced back, buoyed by supply concerns as the European Union works on gaining support for a ban on Russian oil. [O/R] Brent rose 2.6% to $105.12 a barrel and U.S. crude rose 3% to $102.77. Spot gold dipped 0.1% to $1,836.2 an ounce.
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By Alun John HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian shares squeezed higher on Wednesday from close to two-year lows hit in the previous session while the dollar held steady, ahead of keenly awaited U.S. inflation data that will offer a guide to how aggressively the Federal Reserve will raise rates. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8%, having fallen to its lowest since July 2020 the day before. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.3%. European markets also were set to open higher, with EUROSTOXX 50 futures up 0.7%. Nasdaq futures added 0.8% and S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%. Chinese blue chips led Asia's gains, rising 2% helped by Shanghai officials saying half the city had achieved "zero COVID" status, and U.S. President Joe Biden saying he was considering eliminating Trump era tariffs on China as a way to lower prices for goods in the United States. But, "the main factor for markets right now is inflation, inflation, inflation," said Carlos Casanova, senior Asia economist at UBP. "Indian inflation was higher this week, Chinese inflation was higher than expected today, and everyone is concerned about U.S. inflation and the possibility of recession in the U.S., which rises with every rate hike," he said. Chinese data released earlier on Wednesday showed consumer prices gained 2.1% from a year earlier, above expectations and the fastest pace in five months, partly due to food prices. Factory-gate inflation, while also above expectations, eased to a one-year low. U.S. consumer price data, due at 1230 GMT, could give an indication of whether the Fed will raise rates even more aggressively to combat inflation. The Fed last week raised its target for overnight bank-to-bank lending by a half a percentage point, and Chair Jerome Powell said two more such hikes are likely at the U.S. central bank's coming policy meetings. There has also been speculation in markets the Fed will need to go in for a massive 75 basis point hike at one meeting. Aggressive tightening has sent U.S. Treasury yields higher, and supported the dollar. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six main peers, was steady at 103.79, not far from the high of 104.49 reached at the start of the week is highest since December 2002. "The dollar's reaction to the CPI will be asymmetrical in our view," said CBA analysts in a note. "A positive surprise will encourage markets to increase pricing for a 75pt increase in the Funds rate later in the year and support the dollar, while a negative surprise will keep pricing for 50bp increases in June and July intact and leave the dollar steady." Analysts expect the U.S. consumer price index to show a sharp pullback in monthly growth, cooling to 0.2% in April from 1.2% in March. They also predict an annual increase of 8.1%, 0.4 percentage point lower than the prior 8.5%, which was the hottest reading since December 1981. U.S. Treasuries were also quiet ahead of the data. The benchmark 10-year note yield was little changed at 2.9774%, having fallen from a three-year high hit Monday. On the front end of the curve, the U.S. two-year yield, which often reflects the Fed rate outlook, was steady at 2.6228% Bitcoin was trading around $31,700, having staged a small recovery after falling below $30,000 on Tuesday for the first time since July 2021. Oil bounced back from declines the previous day as markets try to balance concerns that China's zero COVID policy will impact demand and that a proposed European Union ban on Russian oil will hit supply. U.S. crude rose 2.36% to $102.08 a barrel, having fallen below $100 on Tuesday for the first time this month. Brent rose 2.34% to $104.85. Spot gold as steady at to $1838.7 an ounce.
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By Rowena Edwards LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices climbed for a third straight session on Friday, shrugging off concerns about global economic growth as impending European Union sanctions on Russian oil raised the prospect of tighter supply. Brent futures rose 85 cents, or 0.77%, to $111.75 per barrel by 1346 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed 72 cents, or 0.67%, to $108.98 a barrel. Both contracts were up over $2/bbl earlier in the session, and are on track to rise for a second consecutive week, buoyed by the EU's proposal to phase out supplies of Russian crude oil in six months and refined products by the end of 2022. It would also ban all shipping and insurance services for transporting Russian oil. The EU is tweaking its sanctions plan in a bid to win over reluctant states, three EU sources told Reuters on Friday. "The looming EU embargo on Russian oil has the makings of an acute supply squeeze. In any case, OPEC+ is in no mood to help out, even as rallying energy prices spur harmful levels of inflation," PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said. Ignoring calls from Western nations to hike output more, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and allied producers, a group known as OPEC+, stuck with its plan to raise its June output target by 432,000 barrels per day. nL2N2WX0IO] However, analysts expect the group's actual production rise to be much smaller as a result of capacity constraints. "There is zero chance of certain members filling that quota as production challenges impact Nigeria and other African members," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst Asia Pacific at OANDA. A U.S. Senate panel has advanced a bill that could expose OPEC+ to lawsuits for collusion on boosting oil prices. Investors are also eyeing higher demand from the United States this fall as Washington unveiled plans to buy 60 million barrels of crude for its emergency stockpiles. Demand concerns on signs of a weakening global economy capped the price rise. The Bank of England on Thursday warned that Britain risks a double-whammy of a recession and inflation above 10% as it raised interest rates to their highest since 2009, hiking by a quarter of a percentage point to 1%. And strict COVID-19 curbs in China are creating headwinds in the second quarter for the world's second-largest economy.
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Six Fed speakers tomorrow
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By Marc Jones LONDON (Reuters) - Global equity markets were still on the front foot on Thursday on relief that the biggest hike in U.S. interest rates in more than two decades hadn't been even sharper. London, Paris and Frankfurt raced up between 1.3% and 2% in Europe (EU) amid collective cheers at Wednesday's 50 basis point Federal Reserve rate hike and its accompanying signals that 75 bps moves were now unlikely. It kept European government bond yields largely in check as the Bank of England hikes its rates for the fourth time since December, while Brent prices steadied after the European Union's plan to ban Russian oil imports have seen them spike 5%. [O/R] "The fact (Fed Chair) Powell removed the 75 basis point hike from the table, I think that is what the markets are reacting to, it is a bit of a relief rally," BlackRock (NYSE:BLK)'s EMEA Head of Investment Strategy for its iShares unit, Karim Chedid, said. "Inflation data is all important now and if it flattens off as the Fed is expecting then the markets will be ok with that." In currency markets, the dollar was gradually regaining its footing after the Fed's move had caused its biggest drop in nearly two months. It is up more than 7% so far this year, on track for its biggest annual gains since 2015. [/FRX] Sterling shuffled back to $1.2548 despite the 25 bps BoE hike which had been fully expected while the euro also wilted back to $1.05 after dire German industrial orders data. "The German economy is programmed for a downturn," said Thomas Gitzel, chief economist at VP Bank, pointing to a plunge in exports in March as well. "The war in Ukraine, the supply chain problems and high rates of inflation are spoiling companies' appetite for investment. Incoming orders are suffering from this," he said, adding that a recession was becoming increasingly likely. The main action was centred on the equity markets, though. Wall Street bulls had seen the Dow Jones Industrial Average jump 2.8%, the S&P 500 gain 3% and Nasdaq finish 3.1% higher. Futures prices pointed to some profit taking later, but BlackRock's Chedid said there might now finally be some positive signs showing. [.N] Trading in U.S. Exchange Traded Funds - the main instruments now used to passively follow major market moves - had surged to 37% of all dealing during Wednesday's rally, 10% more than normal over the last month. "It suggests we are getting some dip-buying behaviour, which is a good sign for equities," he added, pointing out too that with bonds globally now offering investors 4% return overall, money was now flowing into that key segment too. FED UP For bears, there were still no signs of a truce in Ukraine ahead of next week's key WWII Victory Day parades in Moscow. Having failed to capture Kyiv in the early weeks of an invasion that has killed thousands and flattened towns, Russia has accelerated attacks in southern and eastern Ukraine, including on the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol. Overnight, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan had risen a modest 0.5%, although trading had been thin with both Japanese and Korean markets still closed for public holidays. Marcella Chow, Hong Kong-based global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said the region was likely to be relieved that the Federal Reserve's rate rise was in line with expectations, as it impacts global sentiment and costs. The half a percentage point rate increase was the biggest jump in 22 years and first back-to-back rise since 2006. Fed Chair Jerome Powell said policymakers were ready to approve similar-sized rate hikes at upcoming policy meetings in June and July. Crucially for many investors, though, he also said it was not "actively considering" a 75 basis-point rate hike, tempering fears something of that magnitude could be on the cards with U.S. inflation now its hottest in decades. China's battered shares had also recovered some ground, gaining 0.7% as mainland markets resumed trade after a three-day holiday. Investors also cheered a pledge by China's central bank for more monetary policy support to help businesses badly hit by the latest COVID-19 outbreak. J.P. Morgan's Chow added she expects that market to make further gains with other high level Chinese officials also pledging support recently. Among the key commodities, gold was up almost 1% at $1,900 per ounce having dropped 8% since March. U.S. crude futures gained 0.3% to $108.21 a barrel and Brent steadied at $110.25. Both benchmarks had risen over $5 a barrel on Wednesday after the European Union laid out plans for new sanctions against Russia, including an embargo on crude in six months. [O/R] The proposal, which needs unanimous backing from all 27 EU countries, also includes a phasing out of imports of Russian refined products by the end of 2022 and a ban on all shipping and insurance services for the transportation of Russian oil. "The oil market has not fully priced in the potential of an EU oil embargo, so higher crude prices are to be expected in the summer months if it's voted into law," said Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets research, Bjornar Tonhaugen.
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By Richa Naidu and Jessica DiNapoli LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As shoppers pay more for anything from coffee to ketchup, some retailers have started to cut or cap the price of hundreds of products as they compete for customers and set themselves up to do battle in negotiations with major packaged food makers. Eurostat said on Friday that euro zone inflation for food, alcohol and tobacco rose by 6.4% in April versus last year, compared with a 5% increase in March, as the rising cost of living in Europe extends beyond expensive energy. The head of Leclerc, France's biggest retailer by market share, on Tuesday said it would identify the 120 items consumers buy most, including toilet paper, soap, rice and pasta, and create a "shield" whereby Leclerc will guarantee the price of those items from May 4 until July. Price increases have been anywhere between 6% and 20%. Pasta, for instance, has increased by 20%, as have some brands of coffee and chocolate, Michel-Edouard Leclerc said in an interview with French radio broadcaster franceinfo. In March, European governments, some facing elections this year, spent tens of billions of euros to shelter households from energy costs. There is little sign they will offer similar help with food bills, which are a smaller part of domestic expenditure, but politicians are nervous as household incomes are squeezed and consumer groups have warned the poorest are having to choose between heating their homes and eating properly. As almost everyone becomes more careful about how much they spend, supermarkets, which have experienced flat margins, are anxious to avoid losing customers to the competition. The CEO of British supermarket group Sainsbury's told reporters last week shoppers were "watching every penny". An analysis of a varied basket of goods created for Reuters by data firm Nielsen shows that prices for products including beer, bottled water and ketchup are rising sharply, in many cases extending big increases from last year. On average, Europe's shoppers are paying about 2 euros ($2.10) more for six essential food products, 8% higher than last year. Retailers charged 8.6% more for instant coffee in the four weeks to March 26, on average, while the price of baby milk rose by more than 21%. SHIELDS AND PRICE CUTS While Leclerc has promised to freeze some prices, across Europe, retailers are widely seeking to limit the inflation impact on the most essential items. A spokesperson for European retail and wholesale trade association EuroCommerce, which has more than 95 members, including Carrefour (EPA:CARR), Lidl and Marks & Spencer (OTC:MAKSY), said all were looking at price caps and cuts in some form, although it would depend on input costs on suppliers' margins. "Because of the very competitive nature of the grocery market, you will see other supermarket chains trying to keep prices down as much as they can," the spokesperson said. In Britain surging prices have caused the biggest squeeze on household incomes since at least the 1950s as grocery price inflation hit 5.2% in the four weeks to March 20, the highest level since April 2012, industry data last month showed. In response, supermarkets there, including Asda and Morrisons, have cut the prices of essential items. Although they have a cushion after lockdowns because people ate at home and spent more on buying ingredients, analysts expect full-year margins to be flat or decline slighly at European retailers, including Carrefour SA (OTC:CRRFY), Sainsbury's, Colruyt and Ahold Delhaize. They will look to recover some of the impact of price cuts in tough negotiations with the food production companies, which typically would have finished late last year in parts of Europe, but have dragged on as supply chain problems and inflation exacerbated by Russia's war in Ukraine has complicated agreement. The packaged food makers such as Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ) and Unilever (NYSE:UL) are eager to raise prices as their margins have also shrunk while input prices have surged because of record commodity costs. Unilever, which makes Knorr chicken stock and Hellmann's mayonnaise, said last Thursday it raised prices in Europe by 5.4%, growing quarterly underlying sales for the region by 0.7%. Still, it forecast that its first-half margin would be between 16%-17%, down from 18.8% last year. "If you compare that with what's happening to people's energy bills, we feel that is quite responsible," Chief Executive Alan Jope told reporters. The company warned of further price hikes and said that unless it charged more, the "full impact" of higher input costs would be a 900-basis-point hit to its full-year margins. Dirk van de Put, CEO of Oreo-maker Mondelez, said last week that the company was approaching retailers in Europe about another price hike, after increasing prices earlier this year. Mondelez's first-quarter margin declined to 38.4% from 41%, the company said. Nestle, the world's biggest food maker, said last month it expected to grow sales around 5% this year after higher pet food, dairy and coffee prices. While sales revenues rise, some packaged food companies' branded products are losing market share to retailers with cheaper private label products, such as Aldi. Customers are stocking up, as the war in Ukraine raises the risk of shortages that will also drive prices further. "We observe higher sales across all our own brands and over all categories," Rolf Buyle, managing director international buying at ALDI Nord, told Reuters. "At the moment we especially have stockpiling effects in our pantry category such as oil, pasta, rice, canned food and flour." Unilever and Nestle declined to comment for this story. Mondelez did not respond to a request for comment and Leclerc could not be reached. ($1 = 0.9503 euros) ($1 = 7.0731 Danish crowns)
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By Sonali Paul MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday in holiday-sapped trade in Asia as concerns about weak economic growth in China, the world's top oil importer, outweighed fears of potential supply stress from a looming European Union ban on Russian crude. Brent crude futures fell $1.13, or 1.1%, to $106.01 a barrel at 0511 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1, or 1%, to $103.69 a barrel. Markets in Japan, India and across Southeast Asia were closed for public holidays on Monday. Prices fell after China released data on Saturday showing that factory activity in the world's second-largest economy contracted for a second month to its lowest since February 2020 because of COVID lockdowns. "A slowing to that extent, when China is already suffering from a property bust and worries about its (until recently) increased regulation, is potentially a major issue for commodity markets and the world economy," said Tobin Gorey, a Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst, in a note. On the supply side, Libya's National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Sunday it would temporarily resume operations at the Zueitina oil terminal to reduce stockpiles in storage tanks to avert an "imminent environmental disaster" at the port. NOC in late April declared force majeure on some shipments at Zueitina as political protesters forced a number of oil facilities to suspend operations. Limiting the down side for oil prices is a possible dent in supply with the European Union leaning towards banning imports of Russian oil by the end of the year, two EU diplomats said after talks between the European Commission and EU member states on the weekend. Around half of Russia's 4.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exports go to the EU, supplying about one-fourth of the EU's oil imports in 2020. "In the absence of an immediate EU total oil embargo, eliminating mobility restrictions in China is necessary to drive oil out of its current range," said SPI Asset Management Managing Partner Stephen Innes. While Western countries have curbed buying Russian oil as sanctions have hit shipping and insurance for the country's exports, the impact on global supply has been cushioned as India has been picking up heavily discounted Russian cargoes. Royal Bank of Canada analysts estimated India's crude imports from Russia have grown from less than 100,000 bpd in 2021 to 800,000 bpd in April and expect India to continue ramping up imports as long as Washington does not impose secondary sanctions. Reuters reported on Friday that Indian refiners are negotiating a six-month oil deal with Russia to import millions of barrels per month.
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By Alun John HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian shares were set for their best day in six weeks on Friday led by Chinese tech stocks after reports of a possible resolution to the Sino-U.S. audit dispute, giving investors much needed respite from worries of a global economic slowdown. Still, a key regional share index was set for its worst month in nine as the Ukraine war and expectations for aggressive U.S. rate hikes in coming months have added to the anxieties, propelling the safe-haven dollar to near 20-year peaks. Hong Kong listed tech stocks rose as much as 10% on Friday as trading resumed after the lunchtime pause. Ecommerce players JD (NASDAQ:JD).com and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) each rose as much as 15% and Meituan gained around 12%. All three are listed in both the U.S. and Hong Kong bourses. They and their peers' stock prices had been affected by U.S. moves to delist Chinese companies because Beijing restricted the U.S. audit regulator's access to their audit documents. Reports on Friday that a resolution to the dispute was in sight had driven the sharp gains, said Steven Leung executive director of institutional sales at brokerage UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. The gains from Chinese index heavyweights sent MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 1.9% higher, which would be its best day since March 17. Also helping was the Politburo, the top decision-making body of China's Communist Party, saying China will step up policy support to stabilise the economy, and a strong Wall Street after robust earnings from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) parent Meta Platforms had driven the Nasdaq 3% higher overnight. [.N] However, Nasdaq futures fell around 0.7% in Asia trade, pressured by disappointing earnings from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) after market close. European futures rose 1.29% and FTSE futures advanced 0.86%. LONGER TERM FEARS Friday's gains marked a recovery to the brutal sell-offs in globally stocks in recent weeks. The Asian regional benchmark is heading for a 5.6%% drop for the month, its worst month since July 2021. Until Friday's gains, it was set for its worst month in two years. "There are four near term catalysts driving the market at the moment: U.S. earnings which we are about half way through, rising U.S. Treasury yields and lots of hawkish speak from the Fed, the war in Ukraine, and China policy," said Fook-Hien Yap, senior investment strategist at Standard Chartered (OTC:SCBFF) Wealth Management. Yap believes Asian shares have room to rise further as much of the bad news was already priced in, though a strong rally in risk assets like equities would need U.S. yields to steady. The benchmark 10 year yield finished the U.S. session at 2.8205%, having reached as high as 2.981% on April 20. The two year yield was at 2.6132%. [US/] They didn't trade in Asia on Friday due to the holiday in Tokyo. This week has also been a volatile one for currencies. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against six major peers fell 0.38% to 103.27 on Friday due to the improved risk sentiment, but was still not far from Thursday's high of 103.93 - its highest level since late 2022. The index's current monthly gain of 5% would be its best since 2015. On top of the safety-bid for the dollar, the rally has also been fed by market expectations for 150 basis points of rate hikes in just three Federal Reserve meetings. The aggressive Fed tightening path, mainly to curtail sky high inflation, far out paces other global central banks. The dollar's recent gains have been most significant against the yen, and it swept past the key psychological 130 yen level on Thursday, setting a fresh 20 year high. [FRX/] Weakness in China's yuan gathered pace on Friday, putting the currency on track for its biggest monthly drop since 1994, pressured by broad dollar strength and lockdowns in many major cities to curb the spread of COVID-19. Oil prices remained choppy as traders grappled with the supply issues stemming from the war in Ukraine as well as the demand impact of lockdowns in China. Brent crude rose 0.9% on Friday to 108.56 per barrel, U.S. crude rose 0.65% to $106.02. [O/R] Spot gold rose 0.65% to $1906.7 an ounce. [GOL/]
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China tech rally takes Asia shares to best day in six weeks in tense markets
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Edward Snowden reveals he was one of six who helped launch Zcash https://cointelegraph.com/news/edward-snowden-reveals-he-was-one-of-six-who-helped-launch-zcash
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World's First Combined Bitcoin, Gold ETP Listed on SIX https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/04/27/worlds-first-combined-bitcoin-gold-etp-listed-on-six/&utm_source=rss&utm_campaign=headlines
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Six of 10 Salvadorans Quit Using the Chivo Wallet After Getting the Bitcoin Incentive, Study Shows https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/04/27/six-of-10-salvadorans-quit-using-the-chivo-wallet-after-getting-the-bitcoin-incentive-study-shows/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=rss&utm_campaign=headlines
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Bitcoin Falls to Six-Week Low Amid Risk-Off Sentiment https://www.coindesk.com/markets/2022/04/25/bitcoin-hits-6-week-low-as-risk-off-sentiment-hits-financial-markets/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=rss&utm_campaign=headlines
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I top ticked NFLX and wanted to add and covered my whole position. It would of been a six figure gain
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By Julie Zhu HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian shares traded cautiously on Tuesday, with investors weighing China's measures to cushion an economic slowdown and the prospect of aggressive Federal Reserve monetary policy tightening. Investors are also bracing for a barrage of earnings that will help them assess the impact of the Ukraine war and a spike in inflation on company financials. Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) are all to report this week. Moscow has refocused its ground offensive in Ukraine's two eastern provinces but Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has vowed to fight on. Early in the Asian trading day, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.5% while U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were up 0.2%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.66%, as strong commodity prices lifted mining and energy stocks, while Japan's Nikkei rose 0.18%. China's blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.06% higher in early trade while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.24%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index opened down 2.4%, pressured by a slump in tech giants listed in the city amid China's latest regulatory crackdown on the sector. The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said on Friday it would cut the reserve requirement for all banks by 25 basis points (bps), releasing about 530 billion yuan ($83.25 billion) in long-term liquidity to cushion a slowdown. Investors, however, felt the smaller-than-expected cut might not be enough to reverse a sharp slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy that could significantly affect global growth. China's gross domestic product (GDP) on Monday beat analysts' expectations with a 4.8% increase in the first quarter from a year earlier, while data on March activity showed weakness in consumption, property and exports affected by COVID-19 curbs. Analysts said the key question was whether authorities would make adjustments to the tough anti-COVID-19 measures. "We expect more policy support, mainly in the form of more infrastructure investment, stronger credit growth, and easier property policy. But we do not see the government undertake 'whatever it takes' to achieve the 5.5% growth target, nor shift the Covid policy soon," said Wang Tao, Head of Asia Economics and Chief China Economist of UBS Investment Bank Research. Wall Street ended the day lower in a choppy trading day on Monday, as investors contrasted Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)'s positive quarterly earnings with surging bond yields ahead of further earnings cues this week. A significant cut to global growth expectations from the World Bank, paired with March weakness in China's latest economic numbers injected some pessimism into U.S. markets, which opened Monday following a holiday-shortened previous week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 0.11%, while the S&P 500 dipped 0.02% and the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.14%. Markets were closed on Monday in Australia, Hong Kong and many parts of Europe for the Easter holiday. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was last at 2.845%, after previously hitting 2.884% earlier on Monday, the highest since December 2018, as investors adjusted for the Federal Reserve to raise rates by 50 basis points at its May and June meetings to contain rapid inflation. The two-year yield, which rises with traders' expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.4459% compared with a U.S. close of 2.46%. The dollar index, a gauge of the greenback's value against six major currencies, was up at 100.88 after surging to 100.86 on Monday, the highest since April 2020. Oil prices were slightly lower on Tuesday, after having been boosted by concerns over tight global supply amid the Ukraine crisis in the previous sessions. U.S. crude dipped 0.57% to $107.59 a barrel. Brent crude fell to $112.7 per barrel. Gold prices steadied on Tuesday, after getting within a stone's throw of the key $2,000 per ounce level in the previous session. Spot gold traded at $1,977.18 per ounce. [GOL/]
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By Mei Mei Chu KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) -Italian confectionary giant Ferrero said it will stop sourcing palm oil from Sime Darby Plantation after the United States found the Malaysian planter used forced labour, in a reputational blow for the palm producer and for Malaysia. Labour practices across the Southeast Asian country have come under scrutiny in the past two years, with six companies including Sime Darby banned by U.S. customs over forced labour allegations. Palm oil, the most widely used vegetable oil, is a key ingredient in Ferrero Rocher chocolates and Nutella spread, giving the iconic products their smooth texture and shelf life. "On 6th April, we have requested all our direct suppliers to stop supplying Ferrero with palm oil and palm kernel oil sourced indirectly from Sime Darby, until further notice," Ferrero told Reuters by email. "Ferrero will comply with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's decision," it said. Although Ferrero buys relatively little of the edible oil from Sime Darby, its move - following similar halts by Cargill Inc, Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) and General Mills Inc (NYSE:GIS) - could hurt Sime Darby's standing as a leader in sustainably produced palm oil. Sime Darby told Reuters it has taken steps in the area of human rights and that all its stakeholders who are committed to sustainability can be assured of its commitment and leadership in the industry. Ferrero is not a customer, it added. "We are also in regular communication with all key stakeholders, particularly customers who have their own commitments," it said. Sime Darby's shares were down 4% on Friday afternoon, weaker than the main Malaysian stock index, which was 0.3% lower. "It's very critical that Sime move fast to further alleviate any concern following the departure of some of these key customers," said Ivy Ng, regional head of plantations research at CGS-CIMB Research, adding that other buyers could also suspend purchases as the labour concerns drag on. Ferrero, responding to queries this week from Reuters about suppliers receiving its requests to stop buying from Sime Darby, said it does not buy directly from the Malaysian firm, which it said supplies 0.25% of its palm oil volumes. MORE HALTS Following a 2020 decision to ban imports due to the presence of "forced labour indicators" at Sime Darby, U.S. customs said in January it had sufficient evidence of forced labour and that the firm's goods were subject to seizure. Ferrero said its products and brands in the United States had stopped sourcing from Sime Darby in January 2021. Sime Darby has promised "sweeping changes" to its governance and some labour practices following the U.S. finding. Palm oil is one of the cheapest and fastest-growing vegetable oils, used in products from food to cosmetics to biodiesel. But the industry has faced scrutiny over the years for widespread deforestation in Southeast Asia and exploitation of migrant workers. Migrant workers from countries like Indonesia, India and Bangladesh account for around 80% of the palm oil labour force in Malaysia, the world's biggest producer of the commodity after neighbouring Indonesia. Ferrero says it uses only certified sustainable palm oil. It sources 85% of its palm oil from Malaysia, which traditionally has a better reputation for sustainability than Indonesia. U.S. commodities trading giant Cargill, in a move not previously reported, said in March it had suspended purchases from Sime Darby pending more information on the firm's measures to address the labour allegations. Cargill said on its website that Sime Darby had taken "very constructive and potentially transformative" steps, but it needed more information to determine whether the planter was meeting the trader's sustainability standards. Sime Darby said its supply of bulk products to Cargill in India has been taken up by other customers. "We value all our customers and are certainly in discussions with Cargill," it said. Cargill declined to say how much palm oil it sources from Sime Darby. Last year, U.S. food company General Mills said it has issued global "no buy orders" on Sime Darby while chocolate maker Hershey asked suppliers to ensure no Sime Darby oil enters its global operations.
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By Scott Murdoch HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian shares were mostly in negative territory while the U.S. dollar held strong on Tuesday ahead of U.S. inflation data which could foreshadow even more aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Treasury yields spiked to a three-year high, while oil prices jumped after a partial easing of lockdowns in Shanghai. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.2%, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with mild losses, while Japan's Nikkei stock index slid 1.79%. Australian shares were down 0.57%. Higher U.S. bond yields were supporting the dollar, with the U.S. currency's index measure against six peers moving back over 100 to test last week's near-two year high. The Japanese currency bore the brunt of the losses against the greenback, which rose to 125.77 yen overnight, its highest since June 2015. It traded choppily just below that level on Tuesday and was last at 125.45 per dollar. The yen has been under the gun over recent months as the Bank of Japan has committed to maintaining ultra-easy policy even as many other major central banks, led by the Fed, have embarked on tightening monetary conditions. The euro was buffeted by politics, unable to hold onto gains from its mini-relief rally on Monday after French leader Emmanuel Macron beat far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the first round of presidential voting. It was last steady at $1.087. China's markets gained ground as signs emerged that some of the COVID-19 restrictions were starting to ease in Shanghai, the country's financial capital, though dozens of other cities remain in partial or full lockdowns.. An easing of China's regulations on the gaming sector also gave investors heart after a multi-year crackdown on parts of the country's technology industry. China's bluechip CSI300 Index dipped into negative territory mid-session Tuesday but roared back in the afternoon to be up 1.41%, which analysts attributed to the gaming restriction changes Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.3%. "The next few days and weeks in China is going to be challenging, COVID cases are still going up, but investors should not be focused just on COVID," said Suresh Tantia, a Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) strategist. "The big story for China though is political easing and tech regulations starting to subside. Tech stocks have bounced today and we think there will be more policy easing so there is a situation where China will be easing when the rest of the world is tightening." Ahead of the March inflation data, U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, were down 0.38% at 4,392.3. Economists polled by Reuters forecast the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) on Tuesday would post an 8.4% year-over-year increase for the month. NatWest Markets economists predict a 1.1% month-on-month jump in the headline inflation figure which would be the largest monthly gain since June 2008. "We're quite hawkish in terms of U.S rate hikes and we think it's not just the amount of tightening but the pace which is going to impact investors," Elizabeth Tian, Citigroup (NYSE:C)'s equity derivatives director in Sydney told Reuters. "Equities markets have been very resilient and quite relaxed compared to the fixed income markets, but we're expecting at the Fed's May meeting there will be some kind of announcement in term of quantitative easing tapering and that is when we could see the volatility emerging in equities. "The question is going to be how do markets react to the velocity of rate hikes we could see." In the Asian session, the yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 2.8224% compared with its U.S. close of 2.782% on Monday. The two-year yield, which rises with traders' expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.539% compared with a U.S. close of 2.508%. U.S. crude ticked up 2.2% to $96.37 a barrel. Brent crude rose to $100.76 per barrel. Gold was slightly lower. Spot gold was traded at $1956.41.45 per ounce. [GOL/]
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By Rowena Edwards LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices were stable on Friday but remained on course for a second weekly fall after countries announced plans to release crude from their strategic stocks. Brent crude futures were down 30 cents, or 0.3%, at $100.28 a barrel by 1333 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 4 cents to $95.99. Both contracts are set to fall for a second consecutive week, with Brent on course for a 3.7% slide and WTI for a 3% decline. Member nations of the International Energy Agency (IEA) will release 60 million barrels over the next six months, with the United States matching that amount as part of its 180 million barrel release announced in March. The release could deter producers, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and U.S. shale producers, from accelerating output increases even with oil prices around $100 a barrel, ANZ Research analysts said in a note. PVM analyst Stephen Brennock, meanwhile, questioned the impact of the reserves being released. "Despite these unprecedented volumes, doubts remain whether this incoming flood of supply will address the shortfall in Russian crude," he said. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) expects the reserves release to "go a long way in the short term" to offsetting the 1 million barrels per day of Russian oil supply it expects to remain permanently offline. "However, looking forward to 2023 and beyond, global producers will likely need to ramp up investment to both fill the Russia-sized gap in supply and restock IEA strategic reserves," the bank said in a note. While Russia has found Asian buyers, Western buyers are shunning cargoes since the start of the conflict in Ukraine. Russia's production of oil and gas condensate fell to 10.52 million barrels per day (bpd) for April 1-6 from a March average of 11.01 million bpd, two sources familiar with the data told Reuters on Thursday. The U.S. Congress voted to ban Russian oil on Thursday, while the European Union is considering a ban. But demand uncertainties kept a lid on prices Friday after Shanghai extended its lockdown to contend with fast rising COVID-19 infections. Further pressure came from the strengthening U.S. dollar, after signals that the U.S. Federal Reserve could raise the federal funds rate another 3 percentage points by the end of the year.
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By Tom Westbrook SINGAPORE (Reuters) - World stocks were headed for a weekly loss on Friday as the prospect of aggressive global rate hikes finally began to rattle investors, while bonds languished and the dollar looked set to ride higher yields to its best week in a month. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was steady on Friday but facing a weekly loss of about 1.5%. Japan's Nikkei wobbled a little higher but remained on course for a weekly loss of nearly 2.6%. S&P 500 futures were flat while FTSE futures and EuroSTOXX 50 futures each rose about 0.8% as traders looked for markets in London and Europe to catch up with a modest Thursday bounce on Wall Street. A late rally had lifted U.S. indexes a little, but they are also all down for the week led by a 2.5% loss for the yield-sensitive Nasdaq as higher interest rates loom large. Federal Reserve minutes this week have confirmed policymakers are ready to hike quickly to curb inflation. A looming European embargo on Russian coal looks set to further exacerbate economic pain and price pressures, though it also carried Indonesian stocks to a record high in Jakarta, where coal exporters expect better prices. (SO) A tight French presidential race is adding to nerves amid a growing sense that financial markets are entering a new era. Rabobank researchers reckon demand falling away leaves equity markets akin to Wile E. Coyote: "Running in the air for several moments before plummeting off a cliff edge." Hike expectations in Canada, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are also surging with inflation. In France, a victory for far-right leader Marine Le Pen over incumbent Emmanuel Macron, while still unlikely, is now within the margins of error, opinion polls show and the euro edged down to a one-month low of $1.0855 in the Asia session. In bond markets, long-end Treasuries have borne the brunt of this week's selling as traders see it hit hardest by the Fed cutting bond holdings. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield is up 26 basis points (bps) to 2.6528% this week, and was steady in Asia trade on Friday. The 30-year yield is up 23 bps. The U.S. dollar has been the primary beneficiary and the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies is up seven days in a row and hit an almost two-year high of 99.914 on Friday. [FRX/] The stronger dollar, and an oil price easing with supplies being released from reserves, has also pulled commodity currencies off recent peaks and redoubled pressure on the struggling yen. Japan's currency is near its lowest levels in years and was battling at 123.97 per dollar. Brent crude futures were steady at $100.73 per barrel and U.S. crude futures held at $96.30. [O/R] There were also some brighter spots, with Australia's bank-and-miner heavy equity market hanging in for a steady week. "A higher rate environment that transpires through the hiking cycle will continue to benefit value vs. growth equities and provides a more constructive outlook for sectors like financials," said Clara Cheong, a Singapore-based strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
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Crypto ETPs & ETFs to Surpass USD 120B Under Management in Six Years – Analysts https://cryptonews.com/news/crypto-etps-etfs-to-surpass-usd-120b-under-management-in-six-years-analysts.htm
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**@nytimesbusiness:** The changes companies are making take different forms, from cardboard wrap carriers to six-pack rings made with leftover barley straw. But they all share the same goal: to cut down on plastic waste. https://t.co/C1TYezo0hz https://twitter.com/nytimesbusiness/status/1509229085708410882
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Stargate Finance attracts $1.9B in six days https://cointelegraph.com/news/stargate-finance-attracts-1-9b-in-six-days
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By Tom Westbrook SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian equities hit three week highs on Wednesday as investors fled a meltdown in bond markets and sought refuge in cash, carry trades and beaten-down sectors such as technology, while the Ukraine conflict's threat to supplies kept oil prices firm. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1% to its highest since early March, with hefty rises in Hong Kong technology firms leading the way. (HK) In Japan, autos joined in as the Nikkei rose 3%. European futures were last up 0.8% and FTSE futures up 0.5%, though things were more muted for U.S. futures, which climbed 0.2% after rallying on Tuesday. [.N] Battered e-commerce giant Alibaba (NYSE:BABA), which recently expanded a buyback program, rose 6% and in Tokyo out-of-favour tech investment firm SoftBank Group rose 7%. "(Stocks) sold off too much and you see a bit of a rally," said Jun Bei Liu a portfolio manager at Tribeca Investment Partners in Sydney, but she added it had the flavour of hedge fund short covering rather than new money piling in. "We are facing a lot of interest rate increases, which is going to put a lid on valuation. We just won't see the sort of valuation expansion we saw over the last many years." Still, stocks' resilience has been noteworthy in the face of very heavy dumping of bonds since the U.S. Federal Reserve gave hawkish guidance at its March meeting and chair Jerome Powell sounded even more aggressive in a speech on Monday. Losses extended in early Asia trade then moderated leaving benchmark 10-year Treasury yields, which rise when prices fall, up 2 basis points (bps) at 2.4009% and having climbed a whopping 58 basis points for the month so far. Two-year Treasury yields, up 76 bps in March, steadied at 2.1796%. "The move higher in yields stretching over the past two weeks has been the largest one since the global financial crisis and even then the moves were within a couple of basis points of what we are experiencing now," said NatWest Markets' rates strategist Jan Nevruzi. "At some point the market might start pricing in an economic downturn, particularly if the Fed embarks on a series of 50 bp hikes." DISRUPTION Among the event due later on Wednesday, British inflation data was set to be released at 0700 GMT, while speeches from Powell and Fed officials James Bullard and Mary Daly would also be watched for clues on the rates outlook. Rising interest rates elsewhere and surging oil prices have sent Japan's yen into a tailspin by sucking money abroad in search of better yields and to pay up for energy imports. The yen is down 5% on the dollar in March and it made a six-year low of 121.41 in the Asia session. [FRX/] Higher yielders, among major currencies, have been beneficiaries and the Aussie and New Zealand dollars have hit their strongest levels on the dollar since last November. [AUD/] Both held near those peaks with the Aussie kiwi $0.6956 late in the Asia session. The euro held at $1.1036. Commodity markets have been kept on edge by anticipated supply disruptions from war in Ukraine and were firm against a lack of tangible progress toward peace. Oil steadied at lofty heights, with Brent crude futures up 1% at $116.67 a barrel and U.S. crude up 1% to $110.34. [O/R] Grain prices remained supported by supply concerns, especially for delivery later in the year. [GRA/] "Those gains are a sign that the market is setting itself to be without much Black Sea supply well into season 2022," said Tobin Gorey, an agriculture commodity strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY) in Sydney.
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By Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) - The dollar slipped on Tuesday after a move higher the previous day as comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell faded and a rise in equities markets help boost risk-on sentiment. The greenback saw its biggest one day percentage gain since March 10 on Monday, as Powell opened the door for raising rates by more than 25 basis points at upcoming policy meetings in order to combat inflation. Traders are pricing in a 66.1% chance of a 50 basis point hike at the Fed's May meeting, according to CME's FedWatch Tool https://www.cmegroup.com/trading/interest-rates/countdown-to-fomc.html?redirect=/trading/interest-rates/fed-funds.html, up from slightly more than 50% a week ago. In the wake of Powell's comments, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) now anticipates the central bank to raise interest rates by 50 basis points at both its May and June meetings. Investors were in a risk-on mood, as U.S. stocks rose and dented some of the safe-haven appeal of the greenback, with equities getting a lift, in part, from bank shares on Fed rate hike expectations. "For the dollar, it is well supported by the Fed's increasingly hawkish rate stance but it is off its peaks, risk-appetite has something to do with that, with stocks higher that is kind of tempering the dollar’s gains," said Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union (NYSE:WU) Business Solutions in Washington, DC. "At least for now, it seems the market is giving the Fed the benefit of the doubt that it can foster a soft landing and that is what is underpinning risk appetite and capping gains in the dollar." The dollar index fell 0.063%. The yen continued its recent weakness as the Bank of Japan renewed its stance on keeping its ultra-loose monetary policy intact. The yen hit a fresh six-year low of 121.03 and last weakened 1.03% versus the greenback at 120.70 per dollar. The yen also suffered against other currencies, with the euro hitting a five-month high of 133.33 and was last up 1.18% to $133.14. The Japanese currency slumped to a more than 6-1/2-year low against the Swiss franc at 128.91, with the franc last up 1.48% to $128.89. The euro was up 0.14% to $1.1029. The single currency has weakened over the past month as the conflict in Ukraine has escalated and served to increase energy prices. On Monday, European Central Bank (ECB)President Christine Lagarde said the Fed and ECB will move out of sync, as the war in Ukraine has very different impacts on their respective economies. ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday the central bank needs to look beyond short-term swings in energy prices and focus on underlying inflation trends. Sterling was last trading at $1.3249, up 0.64% on the day. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin last rose 4.18% to $42,874.48. Ethereum last rose 3.63% to $3,015.46.
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By Tom Westbrook SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Stockmarkets took a breather on Friday after several days of sizeable gains, as geo-political tensions arising from the Ukraine conflict kept investors on guard going into the weekend. After a fourth straight day of talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiators without tangible progress, earlier hopes for a peace deal have begun to wane and oil prices have begun climbing again. Adding to the mix, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to deliver a warning that Beijing will pay a price if it supports Russia's war effort when he speaks to China's President Xi Jinping in a call scheduled for 1300 GMT. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat and Hong Kong's Hang Seng steadied following a furious two-day surge. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6%. S&P 500 futures eased 0.4% while Euro STOXX 50 futures and FTSE futures were flat. [.HK][.T] Oil, which had crumbled some 30% from last week's peak, has bounced hard as traders fret that hope for peace in Ukraine is misplaced. Brent crude futures were last up 2% and at $108.64, have added more than $10 a barrel in two sessions. "It's very difficult to get any confidence that you're going to be able to reliably source commodities out of Russia or Ukraine," said Tobin Gorey, a commodities strategist at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY) in Sydney. "You're going to be looking elsewhere and that just tends to get priced up." Wheat and corn futures, which are sensitive to Black Sea supply disruptions, have bounced sharply. [GRA/] Australia's miner-heavy ASX 200 index logged its best week since February last year and the commodities-sensitive Australian dollar hit a two-week high of $0.7398. [.AX][AUD/] INVERSION Problems faced by policymakers whose economies are suffering surging inflation and sagging growth were also underscored during a series of central bank meetings this week. The U.S. Federal Reserve raised rates for the first time in more than three years on Wednesday, and surprised traders with a more hawkish than expected outlook. The Bank of England also hiked but surprised with a dovish outlook that drove a rally in gilts. The Bank of Japan offered no surprises on Friday, leaving policy ultra easy, which has kept heavy pressure on the yen. Japan's currency hit a six-year low of 119.13 this week and last traded at 118.78 per dollar. "The next multi-session target may well be the 120.00 psychological level," said Terence Wu, a strategist at OCBC Bank in Singapore. [FRX/] The euro hovered at $1.1086. Hong Kong's Hang Seng followed its worst session in more than six years with its biggest two-day rally since 1998 this week and rate cut hopes kept it bid on Friday. [.SS] Treasuries steadied, but a flat yield curve that is flirting with inversion reflected worries about longer-term growth. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was last at 2.1780%. Spot gold hovered at $1,932 and bitcoin was clinging on above $40,000.
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By Kevin Buckland TOKYO (Reuters) - Hong Kong led strong gains in Asian stock markets on Thursday, buoyed by signs of progress in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and by expectations of more support for China's wobbly economy. Pan-European stock futures also looked set for a firmer open, pointing 0.21% higher. U.S. stock futures indicated a slightly lower restart, but followed a 2.2% surge for the S&P 500 overnight. Investors took in stride the long expected start of monetary tightening in the United States. Treasury yields eased a little after spiking to nearly three-year highs overnight - with shorter-end yields rising more to flatten the curve - after the Fed on Wednesday raised the policy rate for the first time since 2018. The Fed increased rates by a quarter point, as expected, and telegraphed equivalent hikes at every meeting for the remainder of this year to aggressively curb inflation. The dollar, though, remained on the back foot and oil stabilized well south of recent multi-year highs amid signs of material progress in talks between Russia and Ukraine to end a three-week-old invasion that Moscow says is a "special military operation" to demilitarize its neighbour. Meanwhile, investors' concerns about a sharp slowdown in China, which is battling a spreading COVID-19 outbreak with ultra-restrictive measures, were assuaged after Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday signalled more stimulus to support the economy and markets, with additional supportive comments coming from the country's central bank, the securities regulator and elsewhere. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped more than 5%, adding to Wednesday's 9% surge. Beaten down sectors including tech and real estate soared, with Country Garden Services Holdings and Country Garden Holdings climbing about 28% and 26%, respectively. Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) Group Holdings leapt 9%. Chinese blue chips gained 2.3%, extending the previous day's 4.3% rebound. Japan also saw outsized gains, with the Nikkei vaulting 3.5% and touching a two-week peak. An MSCI index of regional shares rallied 3%. Wall Street stayed strong despite the Fed's more hawkish tilt because Chair Jerome Powell "emphasised that the economy was strong enough to withstand hikes, saying he wasn't concerned by the possibility of a recession," National Australia Bank (OTC:NABZY) economist Taylor Nugent wrote in a client note. Glimmers of progress in Russia-Ukraine peace talks had already boosted market sentiment, along with the positive comments from Chinese officials, Nugent said. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield hit 2.002% after the Fed decision before easing to 1.9159% in Tokyo trading, while the 10-year yield jumped to 2.2460% and then eased to 2.1403%. Both overnight levels were the highest since May 2019. The safe-haven greenback remained out of favour, though, amid the improvement in market sentiment, and while the outcome of the Fed meeting was on the hawkish side, analysts saw it as within the bounds of market expectations. The dollar index, which tracks the currency against six major peers, was slightly weaker at 98.476 after declining 0.47% on Wednesday. Where the dollar showed some strength was against Japan's currency, standing at 118.82 yen, not too far from the more than six year high of 119.13 reached overnight amid a widening monetary policy gap. The Bank of Japan is widely seen keeping stimulus ultra-easy on Friday as the economy continues to sputter. The euro eased slightly to $1.1029, but holding on to most of Wednesday's 0.74% bounce. Sterling stayed firm, trading at $1.3156 after rallying 0.77% in the previous session. The Bank of England announces policy later on Thursday and is expected to hike rates by an additional quarter point. Crude oil rebounded on Thursday after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said a decline in oil demand due to higher prices would not offset the massive supply shortfall caused by a shut-in of Russian oil supplies. Brent crude futures were up about $1.76, or 1.8%, to $98.02 a barrel, compared with a recent peak of $129.30. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up $1.66, or 1.75%, to $95.04 a barrel, versus a top earlier this month of $124.58.
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The question was answered today, when the LBMA - London's gold market - suspended all Russian refineries from its accredited list, meaning their newly minted bars can no longer trade in one of the world’s most important bullion centers. The London Bullion Market Association said on Monday that it suspended all six Russian gold and silver refineries from its Good Delivery List following sanctions imposed by the U.S., European Union and U.K. on the country. Existing bars produced by the refiners before their suspension will still be accepted.
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WAVES risks 'death cross' plunge after price rallies 88% in six days https://cointelegraph.com/news/waves-risks-death-cross-plunge-after-price-rallies-88-in-six-days
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By Natalia Zinets and Aleksandar Vasovic KYIV/MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Russian forces invaded Ukraine on Thursday in a massed assault by land, sea and air, the biggest attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two. Missiles rained down. Ukraine reported columns of troops pouring across its borders from Russia and Belarus and landing on the coast from the Black and Azov seas. Ukrainian troops fought Russian forces along practically the entire border, and fierce fighting was taking place in the regions of Sumy, Kharkiv, Kherson, Odessa and at a military airport near Kyiv, an adviser to the presidential office said. Explosions were heard before dawn and throughout the morning in the capital Kyiv, a city of 3 million people. Gunfire rattled, sirens blared, and the highway out of the city choked with traffic as residents fled. The assault brought a calamitous end to weeks of fruitless diplomatic efforts by Western leaders to avert war, their worst fears about Russian President Vladimir Putin's ambitions realised. "Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in the WW2 years," tweeted Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. "Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself & won't give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks." Calling on Ukrainians to defend their country, he said arms would be given to anyone prepared to fight. He also urged Russians to take to the streets to protest against their government's actions. U.S. President Joe Biden called the Russian action an "unprovoked and unjustified attack". EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said the bloc would impose a new round of sanctions that would hit Russia's economy severely. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said: "These are among the darkest hours of Europe since the Second World War." RUSSIAN BOMBING In an early-morning declaration of war, Putin said he had ordered "a special military operation" to protect people, including Russian citizens, subjected to "genocide" in Ukraine - an accusation the West calls baseless propaganda. "And for this we will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine," Putin said. "Russia cannot feel safe, develop, and exist with a constant threat emanating from the territory of modern Ukraine" He added: "All responsibility for bloodshed will be on the conscience of the ruling regime in Ukraine." A resident of Kharkiv, Ukraine's second biggest city and close to the Russian border, said windows in apartment blocks were shaking from constant blasts. Blasts could be heard in the southern port of Mariupol, near a frontline held by Russian-backed separatists. On a highway leading out, a Ukrainian armoured column thundered along the road, with soldiers atop turrets smiling and flashing victory signs to cars which honked their horns in support. Civilians in Mariupol packed bags: "We are going into hiding," a woman said. Ukrainian officials said Russian helicopters attacked Gostomel, a military airport near Kyiv, and Ukraine downed three of them. Ukrainian border officials said the Russians were trying to penetrate Kyiv region and the Zhytomyr region on the Belarusian border, and they were using Grad rockets. Initial unconfirmed reports of casualties included Ukrainian civilians killed by Russian bombardment and border guards defending the frontier. Regional authorities of Ukraine's southern Odessa region said 18 people were killed in a missile attack. At least six people were killed in Brovary, a town near Kyiv, authorities there said. Ukraine reported five people killed when one plane was shot down. Ukraine's military said it had destroyed four Russian tanks on a road near Kharkiv, killed 50 troops near a town in Luhansk region and downed six Russian warplanes in the east. Russia denied reports its aircraft or armoured vehicles had been destroyed. Russian-backed separatists claimed to have downed two Ukrainian planes. 'RUSSIA ALONE IS RESPONSIBLE' Even with a full-blown invasion under way, Putin's ultimate aim is obscure. He said he did not plan a military occupation, only to disarm Ukraine and purge it of nationalists. The outright annexation of such a vast hostile country could be beyond Russia's military capabilities. But if the aim is just to replace Zelenskiy's government, it is hard to see Ukrainians accepting any new leadership Russia might try to install. "I think we must fight all those who invade our country so strongly," said one man stuck in traffic trying to leave Kyiv. "I would hang every single one of them from bridges." Biden has ruled out sending U.S. troops to defend Ukraine, but Washington has reinforced NATO allies in the region with extra troops and planes. The West has pledged to impose severe sanctions. "Russia alone is responsible for the death and destruction this attack will bring, and the United States and its Allies and partners will respond in a united and decisive way," Biden said. Russia is one of the world's biggest energy producers, and both it and Ukraine are among the top exporters of grain. War and sanctions will disrupt economies around the world already facing a supply crisis as they emerge from the pandemic. Stocks and bond yields plunged; the dollar and gold soared. Brent oil surged past $100/barrel for the first time since 2014. [MKTS/GLOB] At least three major buyers of Russian oil said they had been denied letters of credit from Western banks, needed for shipments to go ahead. A democratic country of 44 million people, Ukraine is Europe's biggest country by area after Russia itself. It voted overwhelmingly for independence at the fall of the Soviet Union, and aims to join NATO and the European Union, aspirations that infuriate Moscow. Putin, who denied for months he was planning an invasion, has called Ukraine an artificial construct carved from Russia by its enemies, a characterisation Ukrainians see as an attempt to erase their more than 1,000-year-old history. While many Ukrainians, particularly in the east, speak Russian as a native language, virtually all identify as a separate nationality. 'WE'RE AFRAID' Queues of people waited to withdraw money and buy supplies of food and water in Kyiv. Cars stretched for dozens of kilometres (miles) on the highway leading from the capital west towards Poland, where Western countries have prepared for the likelihood of hundreds of thousands of refugees. "We're afraid of bombardments," said Oxana, trying to flee and stuck in her car with her three-year-old daughter on the backseat. "This is so scary." Three hours after Putin gave his order, Russia's defence ministry said it had taken out military infrastructure at Ukrainian air bases and degraded its air defences. Earlier, Ukrainian media reported that military command centres in Kyiv and Kharkiv had been struck by missiles, while Russian troops had landed at Odessa and Mariupol. Russia announced it was shutting all shipping in the Azov Sea. Russia controls the strait leading into the sea where Ukraine has ports including Mariupol. Ukraine appealed to Turkey to bar Russian ships from the straits connecting the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. In Russia, where state media have for weeks been airing footage of purported Ukrainian attacks that Western countries call crudely staged fakes, the broadcast regulator said all news outlets must cite only official Russian sources on Ukraine. An activist who called for anti-war demonstrations was detained.
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By Xie Yu and Alun John HONG KONG (Reuters) - Global stocks tumbled while safe-havens rallied and oil surged on Tuesday as Europe's eastern flank stood on the brink of war after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops into breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. MSCI's broadest index of Asia Pacific shares outside Japan was on course for its worst day for this month, off 1.66%, weighed by markets in Hong Kong and mainland China. Japan's Nikkei shed 1.7%. U.S. and European markets were also braced for sharp losses at the opening bell, with S&P 500 futures down 1.4%, Nasdaq futures off 1.9%, the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures 1.1% lower, and FTSE futures down 0.6%. Both Asian shares and U.S. and European futures had fallen more earlier in the session. In contrast, Brent crude futures rose 2.1% to $97.44, a new seven-year high, on worries Russia's energy exports could be disrupted. Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,908.10, having earlier hit a new six-month top of $1,913.89. [GOL/] [O/R] Putin on Monday recognised two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent and ordered the Russian army to launch what Moscow called a peacekeeping operation into the area, upping the ante in a crisis that could unleash a major war. A Reuters witness saw columns of military vehicles including tanks early Tuesday on the outskirts of Donetsk, the capital of one of two breakaway regions, and Putin signed treaties with leaders of the two breakaway regions giving Russia the right to build military bases. Washington and European capitals condemned the move, vowing new sanctions. Ukraine's foreign minister said he had been assured of a "resolute and united" response from the European Union. Following Russia's latest move "we are much closer to military intervention, which of course is going to drive a lot of the risk off sentiment in the markets,” said Carlos Casanova, senior Asia economist at UBP, adding the short term volatility in markets caused by both geopolitical factors and the U.S. Federal Reserve was 'relentless'. Casanova said the consequences would be higher oil prices, an equity sell off, and people flocking to safe haven assets like the Japanese yen. In Hong Kong, shares of Russian aluminium producer OK Rusal plunged as much as 22.1% to HK$6.18, their biggest daily percentage decline since April 2018. Away from Russia, and not helping the Hong Kong market, Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech stocks fell 2.3%, with heavyweights Tencent and Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) both hit by speculation about a new wave of regulatory scrutiny. CURRENCIES QUIETER In currency markets, moves were more muted, barring the Russian rouble which hit an 15-month low early in Asian trading, before steadying. The Japanese yen walked back early gains which had taken it to a near three-week high of 114.48 per dollar, fellow safe-haven the Swiss franc was holding steady near the previous day's one-month high, and the euro recovered to trade flat after earlier falling to a one-week low of $1.1286. "Currency markets are not really showing the same level of caution as equity markets," said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index. "When you read the headlines .. you'd expect to see some follow-through in the markets. We are in equities but we're not in currencies," he said. "Interestingly, overnight the Swiss franc was the safe haven, not the Japanese yen." The nerves also drove U.S. Treasury yields lower, with benchmark 10-year Treasury yields diving as much as 7 basis points to 1.846%. Bets on Federal Reserve rate hikes also eased and the chance of a 50 basis point hike next month fell below 1-in-5. U.S. policy makers have been sparring publicly about how aggressively to begin tightening. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said on Monday that she will assess incoming economic data over the next three weeks in deciding whether a half percentage point interest rate rise is needed at the central bank's next meeting in March.
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By Carolyn Cohn LONDON (Reuters) - Global stocks hit three-week lows and oil rose on Monday as worries increased that Russia will invade Ukraine. Russian forces killed a group of five saboteurs who breached the country's southwest border from Ukraine on Monday, news agencies quoted the military as saying, an accusation that Kyiv dismissed as the latest in a series of fakes. Kyiv and the West fear that a border incident near eastern Ukraine could be used as a pretext for Moscow to attack its neighbour. Russia denies such plans. Markets are on high alert for any escalation in the crisis. MSCI's world equity index fell 0.4% to 700.11, with Monday's public holiday in the United States, which will keep Wall Street closed, thinning trade and adding to the volatility. S&P 500 stock futures fell 0.66%. Nasdaq futures dropped 1.2%. European stocks dropped 1.65% to their lowest in more than four months. British stocks fell 0.5%. Shares in companies exposed to Russia and Ukraine fell heavily. U.S. stock futures and European stocks lost earlier gains made on news that U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin had agreed in principle to hold a summit on the Ukraine crisis. The Kremlin said there were no concrete plans in place for a summit, though a call or meeting could be set up at any time. "The Kremlin made clear today that they are in no rush for a summit with Biden," said Tim Ash, strategist at BlueBay Asset Management. British foreign minister Liz Truss said she was stepping up preparations with allies for a worst-case scenario, adding that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was highly likely. In a reminder of the stakes, Reuters reported Biden had prepared a package of sanctions that includes barring U.S. financial institutions from processing transactions for major Russian banks. The rouble slid nearly 3% against the dollar and Russian shares slumped 9% their lowest in 14 months. The U.S. dollar index dipped 0.1% to 95.668, well short of a 1-1/2 year high of 97.441 hit last month. The euro was little changed at $1.1327, while yields on German 10-year government bonds, seen as Europe's safest asset, hit two-week lows at 0.185%. [FRX/] A preliminary Purchasing Managers' Index survey showed the euro zone economy rebounded sharply this month as an easing of coronavirus restrictions gave a boost to the dominant service industry. "A Russian invasion of Ukraine would make the job of central banks across Europe much harder," said Matteo Cominetta, senior economist at Barings Investment Institute. "Investors should position for even higher uncertainty and probability of policy mistakes." Markets are also expecting aggressive policy tightening by the U.S. Federal Reserve as inflation runs rampant. The Fed's favoured measure of core inflation is due out later this week and is forecast to show an annual rise of 5.1% - the fastest pace since the early 1980s. At least six Fed officials are set to speak this week and markets will be hyper-sensitive to their views on a possible hike of 50 basis points in March. Recent commentary has leant against such a drastic step and futures have scaled back the chance of a half-point rise to around 20% from well above 50% a week ago. In oil markets, Brent crude rose by $1 to $94.41 on the Ukraine crisis, while U.S. crude also gained $1 to $91.98. Oil had suffered its first weekly loss in two months last week, taking it off seven-year highs, amid signs of progress on an Iran deal that could release new supply into the market. Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said "significant progress" had been made in talks to revive Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement on Monday after a senior European Union official said on Friday that a deal was "very, very close". [O/R] Gold has benefited from its status as one of the oldest of safe harbours, climbing to nine-month highs of $1,908 an ounce, before dropping back to $1,893 an ounce. [GOL/]
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Where do crypto donations go? Here are six charities that have benefited, as told by The Giving Block https://cointelegraph.com/news/where-do-crypto-donations-go-here-are-six-charities-that-have-benefited-as-told-by-the-giving-block
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Ethereum's average and median transaction fee slip, lowest in six months https://cointelegraph.com/news/ethereum-s-average-and-median-transaction-fee-slip-lowest-in-six-months
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By Kevin Buckland TOKYO (Reuters) - A tech-fuelled global stocks rally cooled in Asia on Thursday as investors took a more cautious posture amid uncertainties around the outlook for inflation and interest rates. World bond yields continued to ease from multi-year highs and the dollar trod water ahead of the closely watched U.S. inflation report due later in the day that should offer new clues on the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate hikes. The performance in Asian stocks was sharply divided between Chinese equities and the rest of the region. Chinese blue chips lost 0.75% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng retreated 0.41%, as investors took profits and worries about U.S. sanctions continued to weigh on sentiment. Taiwan's benchmark, however, jumped 0.80%, while Japan's blue-chip Nikkei was 0.31% higher. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares added 0.33%. U.S. futures pointed to a lower open, indicating a 0.28% retreat for the Nasdaq and a 0.23% decline for the S&P, after Big Tech lifted Wall Street to solid gains overnight. European futures were mixed, signaling a 0.04% easing for Britain's FTSE but a 0.06% increase for Germany's DAX. "We don't know how many U.S. rate hikes there are going to be this year, and I don't think the Fed knows either, and that's getting markets a little bit nervous, to say the least," said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Australia. "Any kind of data surprise is going to inflame that nervousness, and that's leading to the choppiness that we're seeing in markets." Long-term bond yields continued Wednesday's retreat, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield slipping back to 1.9268% in Tokyo on Thursday from a near 2-1/2-year peak on Tuesday. Its German counterpart dipped from a three-year high overnight. [US/][GOVD/EUR] "It was a more positive session for global bonds, with European bond yields taking a breather from their seemingly relentless recent rise," Damien McColough, head of rates strategy at Westpac, wrote in a client note. "Even so, global bond yields have entered a bear phase and investors are likely to demand a higher premium to invest given inflation and policy risks ... so we remain better tactical sellers." Australia's 10-year benchmark yield slipped to 2.089% on Thursday from as high as 2.157% in the previous session, a near three-year peak. Japan's benchmark 10-year yield, however, renewed a six-year peak at 0.225% amid speculation that more hawkish monetary tightening globally could force some action from the Bank of Japan. The Fed is broadly expected to begin raising rates at its March meeting although there is no clarity about the pace of tightening. Money markets are certain of at least a quarter point Fed hike next month, and give 1-in-4 odds of a half point increase. Data due later on Thursday is expected to show U.S. consumer inflation racing at a 7%-plus annualised clip, a level reminiscent of the inflation shocks of the 1970s and 1980s. Currencies were largely in a holding pattern ahead of that release, with the dollar index steady at 95.556 after bouncing off a two-week low of 95.136 on Friday. [FRX/] One euro bought $1.1425 and the yen traded at 115.605 per dollar. The combination of a soft dollar and lower bond yields put some shine on gold, which held close to a two-week high, last changing hands at around $1,834 an ounce. [GOL/] Crude oil eased, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures down 20 cents to $89.46 a barrel, while Brent crude futures lost 42 cents to $91.13 a barrel.
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By Xie Yu and Alun John HONG KONG (Reuters) - Asian shares and European stock futures advanced on Wednesday after a strong session on Wall Street, while U.S. treasury yields held near multi-year highs ahead of closely watched inflation data this week. Investors across asset classes are devoting considerable thought to the pace and timing of interest rate hikes by central banks across the world. Barring any big surprises, the consumer price index should cement expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month, with a strong print offering further support to those tipping a larger 50 basis point rise. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1.5% to its highest in two weeks, helped by a 3.8% gain in Hong Kong-listed tech stocks, especially index heavyweight Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) which rose 6.6%. Japan's Nikkei gained 1.2%. Futures indicated the share rally would continue into European and U.S. trading, with the pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.81%, FTSE 100 futures rising 0.85% and e-mini futures for the S&P 500 0.5% higher. Overnight, three main Wall Street indexes closed higher with tech stocks including Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) jumping, as did bank stocks supported by the prospect of higher U.S interest rates. [.N] Nonetheless, the Nasdaq Composite is still down 9.2% this year after a brutal January. Manishi Raychaudhuri, Asia-Pacific equity strategist at BNP Paribas (OTC:BNPQY), said market volatility was lingering as investors tried to figure out how often, how far and how fast central banks would raise interest rates. "The overarching theme for the market is central banks’ monetary policies," he said. "I think volatilities will continue and will possibly increase...but over the longer term corporate balance sheets, particularly in Asian emerging markets look a lot better than they were earlier," he said. Elsewhere in Asia Pacific, gains in tech names helped Korea's KOSPI rise 0.8% and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:CMWAY), the country's largest bank gained 5.6% after announcing a A$2 billion share buyback. Gains in Hong Kong financials and tech stocks meant the local benchmark rose 2%, unfazed by tighter restrictions to combat a new wave of COVID-19. However, focus on U.S. inflation figures due Thursday is likely to cap further gains. "Even though we sit in Asia, markets are still eagerly waiting for the Thursday CPI print out of the U.S. so are sitting on their hands right now," said Marcella Chow, Hong Kong based global market strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Asset Management. "The market is currently expecting January's CPI to be 7.3% versus 7% in December, and if it comes in higher than expected we could see 10 year yields go higher and even reach 2%, and push a value rotation," she added. Higher yields typically cause investors to move out of so called growth stocks, particularly technology names, into value stocks. U.S. Treasury yields held firm in Asian trading, after touching multi-year highs the day before as did yields in the euro zone. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was 1.9397%, having hit 1.97% on Tuesday, its highest since Nov 2019, and the two-year was 1.3435%, just below its highest since March 2020. [US/] In Asia, the 10-year Japanese government bond yield touched 0.215% in morning trade, its highest since January 2016 Currency markets were pretty quiet, with the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six peers was at 95.559, little moved, down 0.07%.[FRX/] Oil regained some ground after falling earlier in the week due to optimism around talks with Iran, leading to a possible rise in supply. Brent crude futures rose 0.3%, to $91.15 a barrel, while U.S. crude was at $89.7 a barrel, up 0.4%. [O/R/] Spot gold was steady at $1,827.9 per ounce. [GOL/]
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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar rose from two-week lows on Friday, after data showed the world's largest economy created far more jobs than expected, raising the chances of a larger Federal Reserve interest rate hike in March. The dollar index, a gauge of its value against six major currencies, rose 0.3% to 95.597, after falling to a two-week low of 95.136 earlier amid a resurgent euro. But the dollar was still down 1.7% on the week, on pace for its largest weekly percentage decline since November 2020. Data showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls grew by 467,000 jobs last month. Data for December was revised higher to show 510,000 jobs created instead of the previously reported 199,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 150,000 jobs added in January. Estimates ranged from a decrease of 400,000 to a gain of 385,000 jobs. Market participants were prepared for a weaker-than-forecast reading given the decline in the ADP U.S. private payrolls report released earlier this week. That report showed a decline due to the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant. Average hourly earnings, a measure of wage inflation and a closely-watched measure, also rose 0.7% last month, and 5.7% on a year-on-year basis. "You have average hourly earnings coming in much hotter than expected, which is just fuelling that theme of everything is just leading to more inflation," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst, at OANDA in New York "This report just screams inflation and inflationary pressures and is making anyone that was on the fence between the Fed raising 25 or 50 basis points in March now think they're going to go 50 and that's why you're seeing Treasury yields really skyrocket," he added. U.S. two-year yields, which reflect interest rate expectations, rose to 1.2970%, the highest since late February 2020, at the start of the global coronavirus pandemic. Following the U.S. jobs data, U.S. rate futures implied more than five rate hikes this year, or about 131 basis points in policy tightening. The probability of a 50 basis-point increase next month rose to about 32% from 18% before the data release. The euro was still up on the day, rising 0.1% at $1.1455. It was up 1.7% on the week, on track for its best weekly performance since late March 2020, supported after a hawkish turn by the European Central Bank (ECB) rippled through markets. ======================================================== Currency bid prices at 9:28AM (1428 GMT) Description RIC Last U.S. Close Pct Change YTD Pct High Bid Low Bid Previous Change Session Dollar index 95.5180 95.3620 +0.17% -0.152% +95.6460 +95.1360 Euro/Dollar $1.1439 $1.1439 +0.00% +0.62% +$1.1483 +$1.1422 Dollar/Yen 115.2500 114.9950 +0.22% +0.11% +115.3900 +114.7700 Euro/Yen 131.84 131.53 +0.24% +1.17% +132.0000 +131.4600 Dollar/Swiss 0.9240 0.9200 +0.44% +1.30% +0.9255 +0.9195 Sterling/Dollar $1.3528 $1.3599 -0.52% +0.03% +$1.3614 +$1.3505 Dollar/Canadian 1.2763 1.2677 +0.67% +0.94% +1.2788 +1.2663 Aussie/Dollar $0.7068 $0.7140 -0.98% -2.74% +$0.7151 +$0.7052 Euro/Swiss 1.0568 1.0522 +0.44% +1.92% +1.0595 +1.0522 Euro/Sterling 0.8455 0.8412 +0.51% +0.65% +0.8469 +0.8406 NZ $0.6604 $0.6664 -0.87% -3.48% +$0.6683 +$0.6590 Dollar/Dollar Dollar/Norway 8.7845 8.7205 +0.93% -0.09% +8.8160 +8.6995 Euro/Norway 10.0505 9.9494 +1.02% +0.38% +10.0787 +9.9603 Dollar/Sweden 9.1474 9.0863 +0.62% +1.44% +9.1718 +9.0641 Euro/Sweden 10.4653 10.4007 +0.62% +2.26% +10.4855 +10.3900
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By Roslan Khasawneh SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices climbed on Friday, extending sharp gains in the previous session as frigid weather swept across large swathes of the United States, threatening to further disrupt oil supplies. Brent crude rose 42 cents, or 0.5%, to $91.53 a barrel by 0745 GMT, after rising $1.16 on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 52 cents, or 0.6%, to $90.79 a barrel, having gained $2.01 the previous day to settle above $90 for the first time since Oct. 6, 2014. Both benchmarks are headed for their seventh straight weekly gain. "WTI crude surged over the $90 level after an Arctic blast made its way to Texas and disrupted some oil production in the Permian Basin," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA. A massive winter storm swept across the central and Northeast United States on Thursday where it was delivering heavy snow and ice, making travel treacherous if not impossible, knocking out power to thousands and closing schools in several states. Tight oil supplies pushed the six-month market structure for WTI into steep backwardation of $8.08 a barrel on Friday, 7 cents shy of an eight-year high of $8.15 on Nov. 29. Backwardation occurs when prices for prompt spot trade are at a premium to future prices, and usually encourages traders to take oil out of storage. As recovering demand is outpacing supply, oil markets are increasingly vulnerable to supply interruptions, analysts said. "Even as thousands of flights are cancelled, the energy market is fixated over production and not so much short-term demand shocks," said Moya. Geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe and the Middle East have also fuelled oil's sharp gains which have pushed Brent and WTI futures up by about 18% and 21%, respectively, so far this year. The United States warned that Russia was planning to use a staged attack as justification for invading Ukraine. Russia's President Vladimir Putin has blamed NATO and the West for increased tensions, even as he has moved thousands of troops near to Ukraine's border. "With geopolitical risk in Ukraine and only gradual increase of production by OPEC+, prices are expected to head toward $100 a barrel," Chiyoki Chen, chief analyst at Sunward Trading said. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, agreed earlier this week to stick to moderate rises of 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in oil output with the group already struggling to meet existing targets and despite pressure from top consumers to raise production more quickly. Over the medium term, however, some analysts expect the oil market to flip into surplus as soon as next quarter, helping put the brakes on the recent surge in prices. "We expect the sequential trend of quarterly global stock draws will flip to inventory builds as soon as 2Q’22, and sustain for the next 15-18 months," analysts at Citi Research said in a note late on Thursday. "Our view is for a tight crude oil market to shift to surplus outright and in terms of days of demand cover."
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six more weeks of winter too
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By Andrew Galbraith SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Asian shares plunged to their lowest in nearly 15 months, short-term U.S. yields hit 23-month highs and the dollar strengthened on Thursday after the Federal Reserve's chairman signalled plans to steadily tighten policy. The share rout looked set to continue into European and U.S. trading. Pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures tumbled 2.88%, FTSE futures lost 1.98%, Nasdaq futures dropped 1.73% and S&P 500 e-minis shed 1.56%. At the same time, rising investor concerns over political tensions between Russia and Ukraine exacerbated worries over tight energy market supply, keeping oil prices elevated at multi-year highs despite some profit-taking. In its latest policy update on Wednesday, the Fed indicated it is likely to raise U.S. interest rates in March, as has been widely expected, and reaffirmed plans to end its bond purchases that month before launching a significant reduction in its asset holdings. But in the follow-up press conference, Powell warned that inflation remains above the Fed's long-run goal and supply chain issues may be more persistent than previously thought. "There was a marked shift in terms of a relatively dovish statement and then a relatively hawkish press conference," said David Chao, global market strategist, Asia Pacific (ex-Japan) at Invesco. "Powell (is) not committing to the size or the frequency of rate hikes and also the timing of the balance sheet reduction. I think that buys him a bit of wiggle room as to how quickly and with what velocity he wants to normalise monetary policy in the U.S." said Chao, adding that moves would depend on upcoming economic data. Fed funds futures showed traders pricing in as many as five hikes by December, after previously fully pricing for four increases. [FEDWATCH] Concerns that the Fed will increasingly prioritise fighting inflation walloped share markets. MSCI's broad gauge of regional markets outside Japan fell 2.2% on Thursday to its lowest level since Nov. 5, 2020, and is on track for its worst week since Feb. 2021. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 2.4%, Australian shares lost 1.77% and Chinese blue-chips dropped to their lowest level since Sept. 30, 2020 as Refinitiv flows data pointed to heavy selling by foreign investors through the country's Stock Connect scheme. In Tokyo, the Nikkei fell more than 3%, touching its lowest point since Nov. 2020. U.S. YIELDS JUMP Expectations of Fed tightening sent the policy-sensitive U.S. 2-year yield to a top of 1.1920% in Asian trade, a level last reached in February 2020. The benchmark 10-year yield was steady at 1.8495% having hit a high of 1.88% on Wednesday. These in turn helped the dollar, lifting the dollar index, which measures the greenback against major peers, to 96.604, near five-week highs.. The greenback rested against the yen on Thursday at 114.6 yen per dollar, having gained 0.67% the day before, while the euro was at a six-week low of $1.2301 "The interesting play seems to be that yield differentials matter again, so we've got a decent set-up on dollar-yen. If you look at the yield differential between the 2-year on the U.S. and the Japanese, it's just shot up," said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index in Sydney. The spread between the U.S. and Japanese 2-year yield widened to 124.22 basis points on Thursday, its highest since late February 2020. In commodities markets, oil prices eased but remained elevated near $90 per barrel, a level last seen in October 2014, on festering tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The United States said on Wednesday it had set out a diplomatic path to address sweeping Russian demands in eastern Europe, as Moscow held security talks with Western countries and intensified its military build-up near Ukraine with new drills. On Thursday, global benchmark Brent crude fell 0.8% on profit taking to $89.15 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was down 0.94% at $86.53. U.S. officials say they are in talks with major energy-producing countries and companies worldwide over a potential diversion of supplies to Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, although the White House said it faces challenges finding alternative sources of energy supplies. Spot gold slipped 0.3% to $1,813 an ounce, having been as high as $1,853.6 earlier in the week. "When you see gold falling with stocks it's usually a signal that things aren't so well, but you can really tie everything back to the Fed raising rates, the dollar screaming higher with the yields, everything else is going the opposite way," said Simpson at City Index.
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