What you need to take care of on Tuesday, February 22:
Risk aversion took over financial markets at the beginning of the week amid escalating geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe. The greenback managed to advance against its high-yielding rivals but lost ground against safe-haven ones.
Mid US-afternoon, Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine as independent states signed a decree "on friendship and cooperation." The world sees this decision as the first step towards an invasion, which also invalidates talks with Western nations.
Earlier in the day, EU's Josep Borrel, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the EU is ready to 'strongly r'act' if Russia recognizes Donbass independence, which Putin did by the end of the American afternoon. Borrel tweeted:"The recognition of the two separatist territories in #Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the #Minsk agreements"
Markit published the preliminary estimates of its February PMIs for the EU. The services sector posted a nice comeback with the German index up to 56.6 and that of the EU printing at 55.8. The manufacturing PMI in both economies came in below expected, but well above the 50 level that divides contraction from economic expansion
The EUR/USD pair is approaching 1.1300 while GBP/USD battles around 1.3600. Commodity-linked currencies are down vs the greenback, despite gold is trading above $1,903 a troy ounce amid demand for safety, while crude oil prices surged on disruption fears, with WTI now changing hands at $92.75 a barrel.
US markets were closed due to President Day, but stocks futures edged firmly lower on Russia/Ukraine news. European and Asian futures are also down, hinting at an upcoming risk-off Tuesday.
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