Global Market Pulse: Oil Rises Again as War Intensifies in Ukraine, Markets Looking Forward to Fed Talks

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Oil prices went up again and equity markets remained jittery as the war raged in Ukraine with peace talks dragging on without clear conclusions, while the U.S. central bank tries to curb inflation amid signs of a possible recession.

Brent was trading around $110 a barrel as of 8:50 a.m. EST, a climb of over 1.44 percent since opening. Investors are awaiting speeches from Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell and European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde later in the day for understanding how policymakers manage to balance between post-pandemic recovery and looming economic recession.

There has been a marked flattening of the Treasury yield curve in recent weeks as the spread between 2-year and 10-year notes has shrunk to 21 basis points, the lowest since the beginning of the pandemic two years back. An inversion in the curve is typically associated with an economic recession, though experts say it’s not a definitive predictor.

Progress in peace talks that would signal an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine had cooled down oil prices last week but tight supplies and ceasefire-agreement complications have again boosted commodity prices. Turkey, a key player leading negotiations, has indicated that there was hope for a ceasefire but was unsure regarding the timing.

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