Mixed signals emanating from the ongoing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine drove oil prices above $100 per barrel. U.S. stocks were up as traders continued to digest FED’s move to further raise interest rates in the coming months. WTI crude rose 2.9% to $105.95 a barrel, at the same time, the S&P 500 rose 1.2% to 4,411.67 while Nasdaq 100 went up 1.2% to 13,614.78. Sanctions imposed by the west on Russia and the war in Ukraine continues to shape markets point of view. Gold, considered to be a haven asset was steady at $1,935.13 an ounce while the yield on 10-year UST was marginally up by 1pb at 2.18%. Investors don’t expect the rest of the year to be calm, but volatility is likely to be here for a while as markets continue to monitor effect of ongoing geopolitical tensions. Also, investors are gauging China’s commitment to reduce the economic impact of its covid fighting measures. This action may signal a change in a previously adopted strategy of minimizing covid related fatalities but weighing heavily on China’s economy.

Early whipsawing in bunds following yet another steady session on Thursday where the 10Y traded in a 5bps range before ultimately closing just firmer at 0.385% (-0.7bps on the day). Peripherals also had a similar session with 10Y BTPs closing just weaker at 1.819% (+0.9bps on the day; these open steady. Equities open weaker following another day in the green yesterday; the Stoxx 600 was down 0.15% at 08.50GMT having risen 0.45% on Thursday. On the data front, Eurozone CPI just overshot in February at 5.9% YoY (expected 5.8%).

The CBR meeting on today. The meeting follows an emergency raise on February 28 by 10.5 percentage points to 20% in the aftermath of the ruble crash and freezing of access to forex reserves through sanctions. Against an extremely high rate and talks about progress in the negotiation process, RUBUSD has strengthened over the week by about 10% from 114 to 103 level now. RUSSIA 5Y CDS traded at 1500 lvl from 2500 yesterday. Reports that a coupon payment instruction for Russian debt had been executed by a foreign correspondent bank pushed sovereign and corporative bonds up. RUSSIA 28 increased from 35 to 50 lvl, RUSSIA 47 jumped from 15 to 30 lvl, LUKOIL 3 ⅞ 2030 increased from 35 to 55 lvl, GAZPRU 8 ⅝ 2034 rose from 25 to 40 lvl, GTLKOA 2027 increased from 11 to 15. The White House noted that Joe Biden will speak with Xi Jinping to discuss Russia’s war against Ukraine and inadmissibility of supporting Russian military operation. Meanwhile, a Chinese foreign ministry official met with Russia’s ambassador to China on Thursday to exchange views on bilateral relations.

A somewhat firm start to the space this morning especially amongst the GHANA curve which seems to have firmed up the most at opening today with at least c.1.5pts up across the curve. The focus between yesterday and today has been on the newly issued Nigeria paper (NGERIA 8 ⅜ 03/24/2029) which came in at an issue price of 100.00 and yield of 8.375% is up already by c.0.75% in price. It had a four-fold oversubscription with its books size at $3.75bn and the new issuance resulting to the NGERIA curve trading/closing down 2pts lower from opening levels.