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D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 4th to 10th April 2022

On Monday, Russia's chief investigator ordered an official examination of what he called a Ukrainian "provocation", after Kyiv accused the Russian military of massacring civilians in the town of Bucha. This came after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday said he was "deeply shocked" by images of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, and he called for an independent investigation that "leads to effective accountability."
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that a new round of sanctions targeting Russia were needed and that there were clear indications Russian forces were responsible for the killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
Russian forces continue to consolidate and reorganise as they refocus their offensive into the Donbas region in the east of Ukraine, British military intelligence said on Monday. Heavy fighting has also continued in Mariupol as Russian forces attempt to take the city.
Britain's main share index held steady on Monday, with investors buying into defensive stocks as talks of more sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine kept risk appetite in check. Oil prices steadied above $105 a barrel after falling in early trade. Surging commodity prices have raised concerns about inflation and tighter monetary policies, but the FTSE 100 has remained resilient this year due to the presence of large energy and mining companies on the index.
About one in every 13 people in the UK has coronavirus, according to latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). That is some 4.9 million people, up from 4.3 million people the week before. ONS officials say that is the highest number seen since its survey began at the end of April 2020. The surge in infections is being driven partly by the contagious Omicron BA.2 sub-variant and people mixing more.
Elon Musk has taken a 9.2% stake in Twitter, according to a US securities filing. The announcement sent Twitter shares soaring by more than 27% in New York trading on Monday. It makes him the largest shareholder in the company, with more than four times the 2.25% holding of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
On Tuesday US President Joe Biden has called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes as evidence emerges of atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. There is mounting international anger over the alleged killing of civilians in Bucha, a town near the capital Kyiv. "This guy is brutal," Mr Biden said of the Russian leader, adding that he believes Mr Putin "is a war criminal".
Cluster munitions used on civilian areas, says Mykolaiv mayor. The southern Ukrainian city Mykolaiv continues to be bombarded by Russians, the mayor of the Black Sea port city has told the BBC's Newsday. Oleksandr Senkevych says cluster munitions are now being used on civilian areas in his city that have no military value, in order to create panic and prepare for a Russian ground operation.
The United States stopped the Russian government on Monday from paying holders of its sovereign debt more than $600 million from reserves held at American banks, in a move meant to ratchet up pressure on Moscow and eat into its holdings of U.S. dollars.
SEOUL, April 5 (Reuters) - North Korea opposes war but would use nuclear weapons if South Korea attacked, Kim Yo Jong, the powerful sister of leader Kim Jong Un, said on Tuesday, in a warning that analysts said is probably aimed at the South's incoming conservative president.
Shanghai on Wednesday made some concessions on a widely unpopular child separation COVID policy, in a nod to growing public frustration as it extends a citywide lockdown that has left some residents struggling to buy food.
The United States and its allies on Wednesday prepared new sanctions on Moscow over civilian killings which President Volodymyr Zelensky described as "war crimes", as heavy fighting and Russian airstrikes pounded the besieged port of Mariupol.
The Dutch government said on Wednesday it is currently preventing 14 yachts from leaving the country due to sanctions on Russia, including 12 that were under construction for Russian owners.
Moscow will fight attempts to seize Russian property abroad in courts around the world, former president Dmitry Medvedev said in a post on the Telegram social network on Wednesday. "Opponents of Russia... should understand that they will face a large number of cases in courts. Both in the national courts of the United States and Europe and in international courts," said Medvedev.
Germany will not end mandatory quarantine for most people who catch COVID-19 after all, the health minister said on Wednesday, reversing course after concerns were raised that lifting quarantine restrictions would drive even higher infections.
There are signs that the latest wave of Covid infections may have peaked in children and younger adults, according to scientists tracking the outbreak. But rates in those older groups most vulnerable to severe disease are continuing to increase in England. Overall infections in March rose to the highest level recorded in the pandemic, Imperial College's React study found. It was estimated that 6.37% of people in England had the virus - up sharply from 2.88% in the previous month.
Ukraine wants sanctions that are economically destructive enough for Russia to end its war after accusing some countries of still prioritising money over punishment for civilian killings that the West condemns as war crimes. The democratic world must reject Russian oil and completely block Russian banks from the international finance system, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his daily video address early on Thursday.
In western Ukraine, some 1,100 train wagons carrying grain are stuck near the main rail border crossing with Poland, unable to transport their cargo abroad. They are just some of the 24,190 wagons carrying various goods for export, including vegetable oil, iron ore, metals, chemicals and coal, that were waiting to cross Ukraine’s Western border. Ukraine, one of the world’s biggest grain exporters, had prior to the war exported 98% of its cereals via the Black Sea. Typically, only a fraction of the country’s exports went by rail, where transport costs are higher than shipping.
China warned on Thursday it would take strong measures if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan and said such a visit would severely impact Chinese-U.S. relations, following media reports she would go next week.
Up to eight more nuclear reactors could be delivered on existing sites as part of the UK's new energy strategy. The plan, which aims to boost UK energy independence and tackle rising prices, also includes plans to increase wind, hydrogen and solar production.
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday suspended Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council over reports of "gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights" in Ukraine, prompting Moscow to announce it was quitting the body.
On Friday Russia admitted to suffering "significant losses of troops" in Ukraine, as the invasion enters its 44th day. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told British channel Sky News the casualties were "a huge tragedy for us". He said he hoped Moscow would reach its war goals "in the coming days". Mr Peskov's comments followed Russia's expulsion from the United Nations Human Rights council on Wednesday.
The least a president might expect, when juggling a war in Europe with an election at home, is a bounce in the polls. But Emmanuel Macron has discovered that all the energy he spent dealing with Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine has been of little help in France's unpredictable vote. A month ago, Marine Le Pen was trailing President Macron by 10 points and fighting for a place in the second round against him. Now she's seen as the clear favourite to challenge him for the presidency after Sunday's first round.
World stocks were headed for a weekly loss on Friday as the prospect of aggressive global rate hikes finally began to rattle investors, while bonds languished, and the dollar looked set to ride higher yields to its best week in a month.
World food prices jumped to new record high in March as the war in Ukraine rattled grain and vegetable oil markets, the U.N. food agency said on Friday.
Shanghai on Friday announced a record 21,000 new cases and a third consecutive day of COVID testing as a lockdown of its 26 million people showed no sign of easing and Chinese cities tightened curbs - even in places with no recent infections.
Ukraine says more than 30 people are dead and 100 wounded after rockets hit a train station in the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine. Thousands of people were at the station at the time as they try to flee Russian attacks, according to the Donetsk regional governor. Russia is believed to be stepping up its offensive in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine as it withdraws from the north.

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