US, European stocks rebound as Russia-Ukraine tensions ease

European stocks rebound

Gold and bond prices slid as safe-haven assets lost some of their appeal with tensions possibly easing over Ukraine

Stocks on Wall Street and in Europe rebounded on Tuesday after Russia indicated it was withdrawing some troops from exercises near Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin said he saw room for further discussion with the West.

President Joe Biden later said a Russian attack on Ukraine remained possible and that the United States would defend every inch of NATO territory.

Gold and bond prices slid as safe-haven assets lost some of their appeal with tensions possibly easing over Ukraine. But NATO said it had yet to see any evidence of de-escalation and a vote in Russia’s lower house threatened a wider standoff.

The State Duma agreed to ask Putin to recognize two Russian-backed breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine as independent, a move the European Union told Moscow not to adopt.

The dollar index pared losses as Putin and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz spoke, a sign tensions over Ukraine have not been resolved. But the index dropped 0.294 percent, suggesting there was little flight to safety, especially as the euro, which had weakened recently, gained 0.44 percent to $1.1355.

The Russian ruble strengthened 1.53 percent at 75.51 per dollar.

In the back of everybody’s minds this is not going away. Putin might be saying one thing and just waiting for the right time to make a move, said Tom di Galoma, managing director at Seaport Global Holdings.

Major stock indices rose on both sides of the Atlantic, with megacap growth and tech stocks leading the rally on Wall Street. The major European bourses posted gains of more than 1 percent.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index added 1.43 percent after falling three consecutive sessions, while MSCI’s U.S.-centric gauge of global equities closed up 1.34 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 1.22 percent, the S&P 500 gained 1.58 percent and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.53 percent.

While the Ukraine crisis simmered, the Labor Department reported U.S. producer prices increased by the most in eight months in January, a reminder that high inflation could persist through much of this year.

The Federal Reserve is aware inflation is running hot but knows rising home prices and mortgage rates will crimp the pocketbook of many Americans, leading the economy and inflation to slow, said Peter Cramer, senior managing director at SLC Management.

They know they have to get inflation under control, but the slowing of economic activity that will really help do that is already starting to happen, Cramer said.

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