Russia’s announcement that it would withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border softened the perception a little. Accordingly, we observed that the markets recovered with some improvement in risk fear. We also see the partial easing effect in oil and commodity prices, which increased due to supply tension, including precious metals, which rose as a result of hedging incentives. Of course, the issue is not completely off the table and there is always the possibility that the military build-up will turn into action. We are at a point where we will be cautiously optimistic. We have to get to a level where we can ignore these intervening political issues so that the market can return to its main focus, the Fed, and bond yields and trade for real valuations of stocks.
If we take a look at some of the developments in this phase (all of them two-day news feed);
· Russian Defense Minister stated that some troops on the border of Ukraine and allied Belarus are ready to withdraw. A spokesperson for the Russian Ministry of Defense said that as always after every military exercise, the troops make a mass return to their home base (The fact that Russia has started to send its soldiers back to their bases in Crimea is a positive development, but at the point to say that everything is normal and peaceful, it is not yet fully understood. we are not.).
· The new Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, emphasized that his country has very good economic relations with Russia and that this relationship is very special, prior to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss the Ukraine issue. Olaf Sholz’s words “The question of Ukraine’s membership in NATO is practically not on the agenda” may have a role in relieving tension.
· NATO Secretary Jens Stoltenberg stated at a press conference in Brussels that they have not yet seen any signs of a decrease in the Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border. NATO Defense Ministers are meeting today, so there are a lot of statements (predictably somewhat negative towards Russia).
· Over the weekend, Germany’s prestigious news magazine Spiegel reported that along with critical headquarters of the CIA in Europe, Ukrainian President Zelensky was preparing for a Russian attack on Wednesday (nothing so far).
· While the Moscow Times newspaper reported that the West has been trying to create a tight cordon around Russia since the First World War, it was underlined that the West’s aim was to isolate Russia from the outside world by controlling Russia’s neighbors.
· The Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, asked President Vladimir Putin to recognize the separatist Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as Russian territories.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are still an important factor, as can be seen. The effect on oil prices is still partial and the main phenomenon, if there is no fast supply factor such as the return of Iranian oil to the markets, it may keep prices higher. For the stability phenomenon in the region, it would be a good indicator that there is no new development rather than a complete peace (unless Russia evacuates Crimea, the pre-2014 dynamics cannot be returned) and that the event remains on the diplomatic side. Otherwise, it is more difficult to maintain equilibrium dynamics in pricing. We are in a pile of developments that need to be approached cautiously, and the market approach shows dynamism according to new facts. In terms of oil, it will be necessary to approach the real bullish effect not from the fear that dominates the expectations, but from a real supply constraint.
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