Daily market review

United States

Bearish Ukraine news drove financial markets again Friday as many investors chose US Treasuries and safe havens over equities -- though late bargain-hunting helped the major averages trim the day's decline, and US losses were less than Europe's. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.5 percent, the S&P 500 lost 0.8 percent and the NASDAQ slipped 1.7 percent.

Value/cyclicals fell on concern that rising commodities prices will fuel inflation and undercut demand. Highly valued growth stocks saw heavy losses on the wide flight from risk assets. Event risk headed into the weekend added to selling pressure.

Among sectors, banks, airlines, autos, chemicals, retail, and chipmakers lagged the most. Weakness in the FANMAG complex weighed heavily, with Apple down 1.8 percent and Amazon off 1.5 percent. Holding up best were precious metals, energy, and aerospace & defense.

Markets mostly looked past better-than-expected monthly US employment figures as the Ukraine war trade obliterated other concerns. News that average hourly earnings were flat in February, far below expectations, played into the gloomy narrative about weakening consumer demand and the threat of recession.

These price data reflect observations at 4:00 PM US ET: Dated Brent spot crude oil jumped US$8.16 to US$118.72 while spot gold rose US$30.72 to US$1,967.56. The US dollar was mixed against major currencies. Yields on the US Treasury 30-year bond declined 6 basis points to 2.17 percent, and the 10-year note fell 11 basis points at 1.74 percent.


European equities dropped again amid uncertainty over fallout from Russia's attack in Ukraine. Investors are focusing on the effects of anti-Russia sanctions, the prospect of Russian retaliation, soaring commodities prices, and supply chain disruptions. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 dropped 3.6 percent, the German DAX plunged 4.4 percent, the French CAC cratered by 5.0 percent and UK FTSE 100 was down 3.5 percent.

Losses were across the board with STOXX 600 banks off more than 6 percent followed by technology and autos & parts, both off more than 5 percent, to lead the decliners. Travel & leisure, construction & materials, industrials, personal & household goods, and retail lagged too. Holding up best but still weaker were utilities, health care, and food & beverage.

Automakers suffered, with Volkswagen off 6.5 percent and BMW down 4.9 percent after they suspended operations at their Russian factories. Parts maker Michelin fell 7.2 percent after suspending production at some plants. Deutsche Bank fell 9.7 percent as it faced losses on Russian loans and disruption in its Russian technology team. Moncler, the luxury clothing firm, lost 6.8 percent despite announcing a revenues beat and share buyback.

Asia Pacific

More Russian attacks on Ukraine, including reports of damage at a Ukrainian nuclear plant, fueled a selloff in Asia-Pacific equities markets and another rally in commodities prices.

Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 2.2 percent and the broader TOPIX lost 2.0 percent. Losses were across the board, with growth stocks lagging. Among sectors, glass & ceramics, metals, chemicals, banks, and automakers lagged while oil & gas outperformed.

Ukraine fears hit mainland Chinese stock as the CSI 300 index fell 1.2 percent and the value-stock heavy Shanghai composite lost 1.0 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 2.5 percent, with losses across the board and notable losses in technology. Mainland oil & gas stocks outperformed.

The Taiwan Taiex declined 1.1 percent, the South Korean KOSPI lost 1.2 percent, and the Indian BSE Sensex fell 1.4 percent amid widespread risk aversion and concern over the impact of surging energy prices.

Ukraine news and inflation worries spurred by rising commodities prices hit Australian equities with the All Ordinaries index down 0.7 percent. Worst hit were technology stocks, off about 3.5 percent, followed by roughly 1 percent declines in consumer discretionary, energy, and real estate investment trusts. Defensive plays held up best, including consumer staples, utilities, and health care.

Global Stock Market Recap

Global Bond Market Recap

Global Currency Recap

Commodities and currencies

Looking forward