• Market sentiment improves as Russia-Ukraine headlines flash positives, inflation woes keep buyers in check.
  • Fed policymakers recently stepped back from strong rate hikes.
  • US warns over imminent Ukraine invasion by Moscow as Russia and Belarus extend military drills, Putin-Biden summit chattered of late.
  • Treasury yields remain pressured after snapping three-week uptrend, stock futures track Wall Street losses amid a sluggish start to the week.

Although markets are far from optimistic, headlines from France recently improved risk appetite during a sluggish Asian session on Monday.

While portraying the mood, the US 10-year Treasury yields stay depressed around 1.92% whereas the S&P 500 Futures reverse early Asian session losses to +0.05% while taking rounds to 4,340-45 of late.

Having witnessed a downbeat start to the week, market sentiment improves on headlines from AFP suggesting that French President Emanuel Macron proposed a summit of US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The news also mentioned that both the parties have accepted the “principle” of a summit.

However, CNN news questions the market’s optimism by saying, “The White House has not confirmed the prospect of Biden/Putin summit.”

It’s worth noting that, a Reuters’ witness earlier mentioned that an explosion was heard in the center of the rebel-held city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. That said, the US continues to suggest an imminent Russian military attack on Ukraine even as Moscow rejects the claims. Even so, a diplomatic meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is the ray of hope to witness de-escalation of the geopolitical fears.

Elsewhere, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President and FOMC member Charles Evans said on Friday that the current Fed policy had been "wrong-footed" in the face of high inflation, but may not need to become restrictive. On the other hand, New York Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams and the No. 2 official on the Fed’s policy-setting panel mentioned, "I don’t see any compelling argument to taking a big step at the beginning."

Although the yields fail to justify risk-off mood, maybe due to hopes of softer Fed rate hikes, the gold prices manage to cheer the rush to risk-safety and renew an eight-month high above $1,900 at the latest.

Looking forward, US Core PCE inflation data and updates over Russia-Ukraine will be crucial for market sentiment.

Read: US inflation expectations drop to two-week low, focus on Core PCE Price Index

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