UN Human Rights Council Suspends Russia's Membership; Oil Embargo Getting Closer

Photo by Delfino Barboza on Unsplash

Initial jobless claims in the US fell to 166,000 last week, repeating March's low, which was the lowest since 1968. The total number of people receiving assistance is now 1.7 million, with job openings still at extremely high levels. Analysts believe this strong labor market will drive up inflation.

The dollar index and US Treasury bond yields continue to rise. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Atlanta Fed President Rafael Bostic made a dovish counterargument on Thursday. Policymakers believe that normalizing monetary policy is best achieved by raising interest rates, rather than by reducing the balance sheet. Such rhetoric has somewhat reassured investors.

At the end of the day yesterday, the Dow Jones Index (US30) gained 0.25%, the S&P 500 Index (US500) added 0.43%, and the NASDAQ Technology Index (US100) increased by 0.06%.

US lawmakers have voted to ban imports of oil, gas, and coal from Russia and lift Russia's trade status, which could end normal trade with Russia and lead to higher tariffs.

Senior European Union diplomat Josep Borrell told a NATO meeting that new EU measures against Russia, including a coal ban, could be adopted by Friday, after which the bloc would discuss the oil embargo. However, the coal ban will take effect in mid-August, a month later than originally planned, he said.

In response to Russia's ongoing military efforts and unwillingness to de-escalate the conflict, the UN Human Rights Council suspended Russia's membership.

European stock markets closed in the red territory yesterday. The German DAX (DE30) decreased by 0.52%, the French CAC 40 (FR40) lost 0.57%, the Spanish IBEX 35 (ES35) lost 0.17%, the British FTSE 100 (UK100) fell by 0.47%.

The ECB's March monetary policy minutes showed that many policymakers believed that the current high inflation rate and its persistence require immediate further steps to normalize monetary policy. In particular, they are talking about an interest rate hike in the third quarter of 2022. Others continue to suggest a "wait and see" approach amid exceptionally high uncertainty.

A huge plan to release crude oil stockpiles provides a short-term downside to oil prices. Crude oil prices fell for the third day in a row after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said it would release an additional 60 million barrels from inventories to the open market, on top of an earlier reserve release of 180 million barrels announced by the United States. The release of reserves will begin in three weeks, so analysts believe that during that time, oil prices could still rise amid a still high deficit.

Stock indices of the Asia-Pacific region showed mixed movements in trading on Friday. Japanese Nikkei 225 (JP225) gained 0.36% from the opening, Australian S&P/ASX 200 (AU200) added 0.46%, and Hang Seng (HK50) of Hong Kong lost 0.08%. Investors continue to evaluate the recent statements of the Federal Reserve representatives, which indicate the likelihood of faster and stronger monetary policy tightening.

Main market quotes:

  • S&P 500 (F) (US500) 4,500.21 +19.06 (+0.43%)
  • Dow Jones (US30) 34,583.57 +87.06 (+0.25%)
  • DAX (DE40) 14,078.15 -73.54 (-0.52%)
  • FTSE 100 (UK100) 7,551.81 -35.89 (-0.47%)
  • USD Index 99.78 +0.18 (+0.18%)

Important events for today:

  • – Japan Consumer Confidence (m/m) at 08:00 (GMT+3);
  • – Canada Unemployment Rate (m/m) at 15:30 (GMT+3).

Disclosure: This article reflects a personal opinion and should not be interpreted as an investment advice, and/or offer, and/or a persistent request for carrying out financial transactions, ...

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Frank J. Williams 7 months ago Member's comment

Will matter if Western Europe is on board.