Ukraine Update: Kyiv Rejects Evacuation Offer; World trade falls

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Bloomberg News

(Bloomberg) —

The U.S. House is considering a bill that would ban the import of Russian petroleum and energy products, a move that would add to economic pressure as more companies pull out of the country in response to the U.S. invasion. Ukraine by Moscow.

Crude rose to just under $140 a barrel after the White House said it was considering an embargo on Russian supplies. European energy prices hit record highs, with the benchmark gas price rising 79% to €345 per megawatt hour. Monday’s gas price spike will likely lead to large margin calls, forcing companies to post more cash as collateral with exchanges to back their trades.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday defended his country’s ties with Russia, saying discord had been “sown by third parties”. Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated over the weekend that the war will continue until Ukraine agrees to his demands, dampening hopes for a negotiated settlement.

Key developments

The stakes rise as Putin says his war in Ukraine will continue From Netflix to Samsung, Russia’s exodus becomes a routWhat a ban on Russian oil can mean for an already chaotic marketU.S. Weigh in on acting without allies on Russian oil import banWheat nears record high as war cripples supplies to Ukraine

Every hour CET:

European Gas Surges 79% (11:30 a.m.)

European energy prices hit record highs after the United States said it was considering restricting imports of Russian oil, a move that would add to supply fears in commodity markets. In some of the most chaotic trades the market has ever seen, benchmark gas prices jumped 79% to 345 euros per megawatt hour. That’s the equivalent of over $600 a barrel of oil.

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Zelenskiy calls for a halt to Russian trade (10:55 a.m.)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reiterated his call for the international community to impose a boycott of Russian exports, including oil and petroleum products, as well as all imports into Russia.

“Let war feed them,” Zelenskiy said in a televised address Monday. Residents of towns near the capital Kiev bombed by Russia are “held hostage”, he said.

World Trade Suffers Amid War (10:17 a.m.)

Almost all economies are already experiencing a drop in international trade linked to the disruptions triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to the Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

The new report published by the German think tank on Monday shows that Russia is the most affected by the sanctions – with a forecast drop of 11.8% in exports in February compared to the previous month. The United States recorded a 3.9% drop in overseas shipments, the European Union a 2.8% drop and Germany a 3.8% drop, according to the report.

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Ukraine Rejects Russian Evacuation Proposal (10:02 a.m.)

Ukraine overnight rejected a Russian proposal to evacuate people from Ukrainian war zones to Belarus and Russia, asking instead for humanitarian corridors to other parts of Ukraine.

“Our residents around Kyiv will not go to Belarus to go to Russia,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said in a video statement. “We call on Russia to stop manipulating and abusing the trust of world leaders,” she said, adding that Russia should “open the paths we have laid down.”

China refuses to distance itself from Russia despite the war (9:35)

China says relations with Russia are ‘rock-solid’ despite Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, while repeating earlier accusation that the US is trying to build a peaceful version of the Organization of the North Atlantic Treaty.

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“No matter how precarious and difficult the international situation is, China and Russia will maintain strategic direction and steadily advance their comprehensive strategic partnership and coordination,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday during his briefing. annual press briefing in Beijing.

European stocks plunge, oil climbs (9:33 a.m.)

The benchmark for European stocks fell nearly 3% on Monday to its lowest level in a year, and U.S. index futures extended the declines. Brent crude climbed more than 8%, approaching $130 a barrel. The Russian ruble was quoted over 12% weaker in offshore markets at over 138 to the dollar, a record high. Local Russian markets are closed until at least Wednesday.

Europe could run out of gas next winter, says Engie chief

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Europe could run out of gas next winter if the continent decides to ban fuel imports from Russia, Engie CEO Catherine MacGregor told France Inter on Monday. Such a ban would lead to “extremely high” energy prices and volatility could disrupt markets, she said.

Governments should preempt any ban with measures to curb demand and with a cap on gas prices, she said. In the longer term, Europe must increase its ability to import gas from elsewhere and accelerate its expansion into biogas and renewables, while the use of coal “must remain taboo as much as possible”, MacGregor said. .

Gold, Copper, Palladium Soar (8:28)

Gold jumped above $2,000 an ounce for the first time in more than 18 months, while copper and palladium hit all-time highs. Nickel soared as much as 20%, while wheat slammed the daily limit higher for the sixth day in a row. Commodities already had a record week until March 4, when prices for everything from energy to metals and agricultural products jumped 13% to a new record high, according to the Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index.

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Uniqlo owner pledges to stay in Russia (8:25 a.m.)

Fast Retailing Co., Asia’s largest retailer, said its 50 Uniqlo stores would continue to operate in Russia. “Clothing is a necessity of life. The Russian people have the same right to live as we do,” Director General Tadashi Yanai said.

His remarks run counter to decisions by some of the world’s biggest brands to exit or suspend operations in Russia. Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have announced they are suspending vehicle shipments to Russia, but Japan Tobacco Inc. continues to operate and says it is “fully committed” to complying with domestic and international sanctions.

EU’s Von Der Leyen promises more sanctions (8:13 a.m.)

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU was preparing additional sanctions against Russia. “It’s not the end,” she said in an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio on Monday. “We are preparing additional measures,” she said, without further details.

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Von der Leyen also said the bloc was taking steps to secure more gas supplies. If Russian President Vladimir Putin were to stop all streams “then we are independent for this winter,” von der Leyen said. “That was not the case six weeks ago.” The commission is set to unveil a new strategy this week to boost energy security, cushion the impact of soaring gas prices and accelerate the ramp-up of renewables.

US Can Act Without Allies on Russian Oil (7:40 a.m.)

The Biden administration is considering banning Russian oil imports into the United States without the involvement of allies in Europe, at least initially, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The administration has yet to decide on a ban on imports from the United States, with the timing and scope of any decision still fluid, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Administration officials have been in close contact with allies on a possible ban while working to prepare for the national impact, the people said.

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