Markets

European stocks close slightly higher with Ukraine, monetary policy in focus

Key Points
  • Global markets have been tracking negotiations over Russia's invasion of Ukraine closely.
  • Markets have endured another choppy week, with a hawkish pivot from the U.S. Federal Reserve fueling bets that monetary policy will be tightened aggressively in a bid to rein in runaway inflation.

LONDON — European markets closed slightly higher on Friday, as investors continued to monitor the war in Ukraine and assess the outlook for global monetary policy.


The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed higher by just 0.12%, having reversed earlier losses. Oil and gas stocks climbed 1.2% while banks shed 0.4%.

In terms of individual share price movement, Sweden's Trelleborg surged more than 23% to lead the European blue chip index after Yokohama Rubber announced that it would buy its tire business for $2.18 billion.

At the bottom of the index, German cooking appliance manufacturer Rational fell 11%.

Global markets have been tracking negotiations over Russia's invasion of Ukraine closely, and Thursday saw a host of high-level meetings between world leaders and international bodies.

NATO committed extra troops along its eastern flank, the U.K. and U.S. rolled out more sanctions against Russian elites and officials, and the U.S. announced billions more in aid to Ukraine.

It comes as markets endured another choppy week, with a hawkish pivot from the U.S. Federal Reserve fueling bets that monetary policy will be tightened aggressively in a bid to rein in runaway inflation.

Stateside, the S&P 500 was steady Friday, on track for its second winning week in a row while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was little changed.

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Russian shares endured a wild ride on Thursday as they returned to limited trading after a month on the sidelines following the country's invasion of Ukraine, and subsequent punitive international sanctions.

The volatility continued on Friday, and the MOEX Russia Index pulled back sharply to erase most of the previous session's gains.

On the data front, Germany's Ifo Business Climate Index fell sharply in March as the war in Ukraine darkened sentiment in Europe's largest economy.

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