Russia launched military strikes throughout Ukraine under cover of darkness, triggering strong moves in stock and commodity markets.
- Russian President Putin has announced the start of a Russian military operation throughout Ukraine, which began in the early hours of this morning. Explosions were heard from the outskirts of Kiev and in other areas throughout Ukraine beyond the separatist eastern regions. The Ukrainian government has appealed for help but is very unlikely to receive any, but has vowed to resist with force, and will likely declare martial law imminently.
- Markets have reacted sharply to the news of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, with stock markets and cryptocurrencies falling strongly, and commodities such as WTI Crude Oil and gold spiking to new highs. Agricultural commodities will be very likely to open much higher lately, especially wheat which is a major Ukrainian export.
- The Russian ruble has lost 6% of its value against the USD in a matter of hours, while the Russian stock market has been completely suspended.
- The S&P 500 Index is trading off-hours at its lowest level since May 2021.
- Several agricultural commodities such as soybeans and corn advanced strongly to new long-term highs yesterday, while wheat, a major Ukrainian export, rose by an unusually large 3.5%.
- Today will see a release of Preliminary US GDP data. Annualized growth of 7% is expected.
- Daily new coronavirus cases globally seem to have peaked five weeks ago, showing that the omicron variant wave is in strong decline almost everywhere.
- It is estimated that 62.5% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccination.
- Total confirmed new coronavirus cases worldwide stand at over 430.2 million with an average case fatality rate of 1.38%.
- The rate of new coronavirus infections appears to now be increasing only in Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Honduras, Iceland, Indonesia, South Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.