Volatility Continues, So Does Russian Invasion
25 February 2022
Investors remain on the edge as they cautiously watch the situation in Ukraine, where the war has started following the Russian invasion.
West has informed that Russian forces are 20 km from the capital city of Ukraine - Kyiv. Their number one target is the Ukrainian President Zelenskyy, while the second target is his family, according to Zelenskyy's words.
News spread today that, according to the President's advisor Mychajla Podoľak, President Zelenskyy is ready to discuss the country's neutrality with Russia. In practice, that would mean a quick surrender of Ukraine and victory for President Putin.
However, it seems like there are no other options as NATO can and won't send military forces, and Ukraine doesn't stand a chance against Russian forces. So it is only a matter of time before Kyiv falls under Russian control.
Yesterday's epic reversal in US stock markets, when the Nasdaq 100 index erased more than a 3% decline and finished trading more than 3% higher, could suggest that markets have realized Putin will get what he wants. Sanctions were introduced, but so far, no SWIFT exclusion and no energy sector sanctions since everyone is dependent on Russia's oil and gas.
Although a US official was quoted as saying its measures "are not targeting and will not target oil and gas flows," the sanctions on Russia's banks and state-owned enterprises are likely to impede the country's ability to do business in major currencies.
Today's trading follows yesterday's pattern - selling during the European session as equity indices are down while precious metals and oil are advancing. However, the US traders can, again, change everything. Nevertheless, US benchmarks' medium-term outlook remains negative as they remain below their respective 200-day moving averages.