Geopolitical tensions continued to rattle investors' nerves on Friday, but news out of Russia gave markets a reason to relax, with Wall Street futures reversing losses and Germany's DAX off lows.
After trading lower overnight, stock futures turned higher in the 7 a.m. ET hour, after a news report quoting a Russian official saying Russia is seeking to de-escalate the Ukraine conflict. European stock markets came off their lows. Russia's RTS index rose almost 1 percent after Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia's Security Council, spoke to state-run RIA Novosti news agency. The ruble also strengthened
Renewed concerns over Iraq accentuated the downturn with Barack Obama authorizing targeted airstrikes on Thursday evening in an attempt to protect American personnel in the country.
This adds to retaliatory sanctions from Russia on Thursday, concerns over the future of Federal Reserve policy, ugly economic data from Europe, jitters over financial stocks in the region, and central banks in the U.K. and the euro zone failing to reassure investors at policy meetings this week. Low summer trading volumes have also added to volatility.