European Shares Set To Open On Cautious Note

European stocks look set to open lower on Monday as investors monitor the news flow on Russia-Ukraine peace talks.

If “negotiations” with Russian President Vladimir Putin fail then “that would mean that this is a third World War,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned as Russian forces broadened their bombardment of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

Investors are anxiously waiting to see if Russia would meet more interest repayments this week. It must pay $615 million in coupons this month while on April 4, a $2 billion bond comes due.

Market participants also await comments from ECB President Lagarde and Fed Chairman Powell amid a backdrop of rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Higher yields helped lift the dollar against the yen after St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard said the U.S. central bank risked losing credibility by moving too slowly to bring inflation down.

Separately, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the Fed will need to raise borrowing costs higher than officials are currently projecting.

Asian markets gave up early gains to turn lower in thin trade amid a holiday in Japan. Oil prices jumped $3, with Brent climbing above $110 a barrel, after Huthi rebels launched multiple attacks into southern Saudi Arabia Saturday.

European Union governments will consider joining the United States in a Russian oil embargo as they gather this week with U.S. President Biden for a series of summits.

U.S. stocks finished higher for the fourth straight session on Friday to cap off the strongest week since November 2020, as President Joe Biden spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the Russia-Ukraine war.

Biden reportedly described the implications and consequences if China provides material support to Russia. Xi told Biden that the United States and China each had an obligation to promote peace.

The Dow rose 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 added 1.2 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite surged 2.1 percent.

European stocks advanced on Friday despite peace talks between Russia and Ukraine failing to result in any progress.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9 percent. The German DAX edged up 0.2 percent, France’s CAC 40 index inches up 0.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent.

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