Stocks rebound as traders weigh Russia sanctions; oil slips
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Global stocks rebounded slightly Friday on bargain hunting, one day after slumping as Russia invaded Ukraine, while oil declined from 2014 peaks.
London stocks jumped 2.0 percent nearing 1200 GMT, while Frankfurt and Paris won 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent respectively in afternoon eurozone deals.
Asian equities mostly bounced back as investors took their lead from a rally on Wall Street after Washington decided against imposing the stiffest sanctions on Russia.
"Asian and European stocks are staging a slight recovery on hopes that there could be a limited fallout from the ongoing security crisis in Eastern Europe," Exinity analyst Han Tan told AFP.
Europe's key indices had each tumbled by about four percent Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a wide-ranging attack on neighbouring Ukraine, while oil prices rocketed past $100 for the first time since 2014.
World oil prices slid Friday, however.
"Russia's attack on Ukraine is continuing unabated," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.
"Yet energy prices have settled down again amazingly quickly after surging dramatically."
Haven investment gold firmed above $1,900 per ounce, having forged a near 1.5-year peak on Thursday.
Investors remain on red alert over fresh fallout from Putin's decision to send troops into Ukraine this week.
Markets remain fearful of a broader conflict in Eastern Europe that could derail the global economy's fragile recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
"The situation in Ukraine could deteriorate and tensions between Russia and the West could boil over," warned ThinkMarkets analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
"Against this backdrop, I would not be surprised if the markets come under renewed pressure heading into the close today."
Speculation had been growing for weeks about Russia's assault, which has stoked fears about the region's supplies of commodities including wheat, metals and crude.
Investors have also been fretting over the impact of any sanctions Western leaders would impose on Moscow.
Despite a chorus of outrage at Putin's move, the punishments have so far been seen as well short of the most stringent.
While the latest measures from Washington target Russia's two largest banks and see controls on high-tech items aimed at crippling its defence and aerospace sectors, US President Joe Biden has not cut off oil exports.
The news provided a big boost to Wall Street, where all three main indexes surged from deep in the red to end Thursday on a positive note, yet analysts remain fearful of more uncertainty.
"Investors have to remain vigilant over incoming developments and fresh nuances surrounding the Ukraine crisis," added Tan.
"Further bouts of volatile repricing in the markets could be triggered by any significant retaliation or escalation in geopolitical tensions that knocks the global economic recovery off its course."
Key figures around 1150 GMT
London - FTSE 100: UP 2.0 percent at 7,357.51 points
Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.5 percent at 14,265.65
Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.6 percent at 6,626.79
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.6 percent at 3,890.19
Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.4 percent at $98.66 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.6 percent at $92.26 per barrel
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 2.0 percent at 26,476.50 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.6 percent at 22,767.18 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.6 percent at 3,451.41 (close)
New York - Dow: UP 0.3 percent at 33,223.83 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1183 from $1.1192 late Thursday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3390 from $1.3380
Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.51 pence from 83.65 pence
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 115.46 yen from 115.53 yen