European stocks ready for major fall of the quarter

European stocks ready for major fall of the quarter

While oil prices plummeted and eastern Ukraine braced for more attacks, European stocks market were little changed on Thursday, maintaining near recent one-month highs but on track for their largest quarterly drop since the start of 2020.

Following word that the US was considering transferring around 180 million barrels from its significant petroleum reserve in order to cut fuel prices, Asian stocks tumbled and oil prices plummeted.

Brent crude prices were down 3.7 percent at $109.28, while WTI futures in the US were down 4.7 percent at $102.76.

Oil prices have risen sharply since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, prompting tough penalties from the US and its allies.

European markets were divided, although they remained near their highs from earlier in the week, when investor optimism improved as peace talks in Ukraine progressed.

As Ukraine braced for more Russian attacks ahead of the resumption of peace negotiations on Friday, that optimism was fading.

The euro was trading at $1.1135, down 0.2 percent after being bolstered by expectations for peace.

Government bond rates in Europe were largely down 3-4 basis points, as lower oil prices helped offset recent bond sell-offs.

After Chinese PMI data indicated manufacturing and services activity contracted in March, Asian stocks plummeted.

The yield curve widened, reversing recent bets that aggressive US Federal Reserve policy tightening would push the greatest economy into recession as it attempts to rein in runaway inflation.

Tesla’s intentions to restart production at its Shanghai factory on Friday have been canceled. Shanghai is planning to close off the west bank of the river.

After the city implemented a two-stage lockdown, the Shanghai factory, located in the Pudong neighborhood east of the Huangpu River, halted output from Monday to Thursday.

By 2030, Zurich Insurance aims to have zero greenhouse gas emissions in its own activities.

To help achieve that goal, the Swiss insurance business had struck agreements on carbon removal.

Despite policy wording designed to keep insurers off the hook for war, insurers might face multibillion-dollar claims for cyber assaults related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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