D-PIMS Weekly Market Update - Week of 7th to 13th March 2022
Today’s Monday update:
Over the course of last week, market moving headlines were mostly related to the invasion of Ukraine:
• On Monday, Russia announced new "humanitarian corridors" to transport Ukrainians trapped under its bombardment - to Russia itself, and its ally Belarus, a move immediately dismissed by Kyiv as an immoral stunt. The announcement came after two days of failed ceasefires to let civilians escape the besieged city of Mariupol, where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped without food and water, under relentless bombardment and unable to evacuate their wounded.
• On Tuesday, Oil prices rose on Tuesday, with Brent surging past $129 a barrel after the United States announced a formal ban on Russian oil imports, stoking supply concerns. The UK made a similar announcement, but with a phased ban targeting the end of 2022.
• Russia announced a new ceasefire in Ukraine on Wednesday to let civilians flee besieged cities, after days of mostly failed promises that have left hundreds of thousands trapped without access to medicine or fresh water. Wednesday's announcement of "silence" was similar to the one on Tuesday that had promised safe passage from the cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv, Sumy and Mariupol. So far, only one corridor has been opened, out of Sumy.
Any supply of fighter jets to Ukraine must be done through NATO, top Polish officials said on Wednesday, after Washington rejected Poland's offer to fly all its MIG-29 jets to a U.S. airbase in Germany, with a view to them being supplied to Kyiv.
• Russia's war in Ukraine entered the third week on Thursday, with none of its stated objectives reached, despite thousands of people killed, more than two million made refugees and thousands cowering in besieged cities under relentless bombardment.
The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine met on Thursday in Turkey, the highest-level contact between the two countries since the war began on 24th February. Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on the eve of his talks with Russia's Sergei Lavrov that his expectations were low. Russian negotiator Leonid Slutsky said Moscow "will not concede a single negotiating point".
• On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin cited “positive movement” in talks with Ukraine, hours after saying he would bring in fighters from the Middle East. “There’s some positive movement there, as our negotiators have told me,” Putin said, noting talks are happening “practically on a daily basis.”
Russian forces bearing down on Kyiv are regrouping northwest of the Ukrainian capital, satellite pictures showed, in what Britain said could be preparation for an assault on the city within days.
In Russia, prosecutors asked a court to declare Meta Platforms an "extremist" organisation on Friday, after the owner of Facebook and Instagram allowed posts calling for the death of invading Russian troops.
President Joe Biden said on Friday the G7 industrialized nations will revoke Russia's "most favoured nation" trade status, and announced a U.S. ban on Russian seafood, alcohol and diamonds, the latest steps to punish Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
• Over the week, the main Global Stock markets were mixed, with Europe up and the US and Far East down. Markets continued to be affected by the invasion of Ukraine and its effect on oil prices. Over the week, the D-PIMS portfolios were slightly down, with higher risk portfolios faring the best. They were helped by their domestic UK and Absolute Return allocations.
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The comments made above represent our interpretation of events and market views and are in no way a guarantee of future investment performance.