US stocks rise; oil falls on Russia-Ukraine peace talks

US equities rose while oil prices dropped on the hopes of fresh diplomatic meetings between the warring nations that may yield some positive results.  The S&P 500 rose 0.71% to 4,575.52, DOW went up 0.27% to 34,955.89 while NASDAQ 100 increased by 1.31% to 14,354.90. The yield on 10-year UST moderated to 2.49% from previous level of 2.51%. Oil prices dropped amid the ongoing uncertainties over the war in Ukraine and imminent drop in demand from China. Consequently, WTI dropped 2.50% to $105.87 per barrel while Gold was at $1,919.40 an ounce. Investors are concerned about persisting geopolitical tensions and also keeping an eye on the outcome of the cease fire talks taking place this week.

Russian and Ukrainian officials are to start negotiations in Istanbul today. A range of issues is to be discussed starting from humanitarian corridors to a possible ceasefire. While G7 representatives have been rejecting Moscow’s demands to pay gas in rubles, European Commission has admitted, that the EU will remain dependent on the Russian energy resources until at least 2027. The opening of trading after a month-long break had a positive effect on local currency with RUBUSD gaining 6 roubles from 96 down to 90. IMOEX is down by a few points and is trading around 2340 today, while RGBI is flat at 108. Russia 28 is trading higher up at 39 and the benchmark Russia 47 has gained 2% up at 20. At the same time, corporate bonds have lost some value today with LUKOIL 3 ⅞ 2030 down at 50 and GAZPRU 8 ⅝ 04/28/2034 at 42.