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European Stocks Rebound as Russia Says It Moves Some Troops Back to Base


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By Peter Nurse – European stock markets traded higher Tuesday, rebounding on reports that Russia has returned at least some of its troops massed on the Ukrainian border to their bases.

By 3:40 AM ET (0840 GMT), the DAX in Germany traded 1.1% higher, the CAC 40 in France climbed 1.3% and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8%.

Global stock markets have been kept on edge on fears that a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent, particularly after the U.S. closed its embassy in Kyiv late Monday, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken citing the “dramatic acceleration in the buildup of Russian forces” on Ukraine’s border.

However, the news agency Interfax reported Russia’s Defense Ministry as saying that Russia will return some of its troops to their bases after completing a series of drills later this week. Joint exercises with Belarusian troops are due to continue until February 20th, according to the Ministry’s website.

The news follows a carefully-orchestrated televised exchange between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergy Lavrov on Monday in which the two agreed to continue diplomatic negotiations with the West over the future of Ukraine. 

““February 15, 2022 will go into history as the day western war #propaganda failed,” said Foreign Office spokeswoman Maria Zakharova via Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). “They have been disgraced and destroyed without a single shot being fired.”  

The focus now turns to talks between Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Moscow later Tuesday following talks with the Ukrainian president in Kyiv on Monday.

Elsewhere, economic data showed the total number of people in work in Britain shrank by 38,000 in the last three months of 2021 when the Omicron variant hit Europe. However, the claimant count fell almost 32,000 in January, suggesting the U.K. labor market was recovering  from this blow.

Also of interest will be the first estimate for fourth-quarter Eurozone GDP later in the session, while there are also December unemployment numbers from the bloc as well as the German ZEW economic sentiment release for February.

In the corporate sector, DSM (AS:DSMN) stock rose 2.3% after the Dutch specialty chemicals maker reported a 13% jump in fourth-quarter core profit, as demand for its nutritional products remained strong despite higher prices.

Glencore (LON:GLEN) stock rose 3.6% after the commodities giant reported record core earnings of $21.3 billion, nearly double a year earlier, and almost $4 billion in shareholder returns. It also announced it was setting aside $1.5 billion to resolve a series of fraud investigations.

Oil prices weakened Tuesday following the lessening of tensions in Eastern Europe. Fears of sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine have been behind crude’s rally toward $100 a barrel.

Elsewhere, talks between the U.S. and Iran to revive a 2015 nuclear deal continue, and investors await U.S. inventory data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

By 3:40 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 2% lower at $93.53 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.8% to $94.74.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,867.95/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher at 1.1338.

European Stocks Rebound as Russia Says It Moves Some Troops Back to Base

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