Share futures soar over Ukraine diplomacy hopes


After the US Secretary of State agreed to meet with Russia’s foreign minister, bolstering expectations of a resolution to the Ukraine standoff, the U.S. and European stock futures rebounded on Friday, while selling pressure on Asian shares lessened.

Following the announcement, S&P 500 futures ESc1 rose 0.7 percent and Nasdaq futures NQc1 rose 0.8 percent, while pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.45 percent and FTSE futures FFIc1 rose 0.4 percent in early trading.

Positive sentiment could be found in a variety of asset groups. Safe-haven currencies including the Japanese yen JPY and the Swiss franc CHF dropped somewhat in Asia trade after hitting two-week highs against the dollar overnight, while gold fell 0.4 percent.

According to the US State Department, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has accepted a request to talk with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov later next week if Russia does not attack Ukraine.

As one of the biggest crises in post-Cold War ties plays out, investors fear a wider war, with Russia demanding security assurances, including Ukraine’s refusal to join NATO.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 sank 0.6 percent to $92.44 a barrel on Friday, more than 4% lower than Monday’s peak, while U.S. crude CLc1 declined 0.7 percent to $91.07 a barrel.

Japan’s inflation rate rose for the sixth month in a row, with energy costs rising by the most in 41 years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped over 600 points, or 1.7 percent, while the S&P 500 dropped 2% and the NASDAQ Composite dropped 2.6 percent.

Biden made the remarks while on his way to Ohio to give a lecture about the country’s infrastructure.

The growth-oriented technology and communication services sectors took the brunt of the losses, but financials also suffered as US Treasury yields fell.

The threat of increased supply from Iran returning to the market pushed oil prices lower on Friday, putting them on track for a weeklong loss.

WTI crude futures in the United States fell 71 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $91.05 a barrel.

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