European stock markets started the day trading higher following a mixed Asian session which saw Nikkei drop 0.3% while S&P/ASX 200 gained 1% and as indices from China plunged and finished 1.7-5.0% lower. Meanwhile, the United States announced a total ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal with the United Kingdom announcing that it will phase out Russian oil in the coming months. In response, Putin signed a decree banning exports of certain commodities from Russia and investors await the announcement within days to determine the potential impact on markets. Furthemore, a growing number of companies have announced their withdrawal from or suspension of services in Russia with McDonald's, Starbucks and Coca-Cola being the latest to make such announcements and isolating the country economically even more. While this rebound may encourage investors and increase confidence in the market, it is essential to keep in mind that any major news related to the ongoing conflict could have wide repercussions and may shake the extremely fragile market sentiment.
Crypto markets rebound as sentiment improves ahead of Biden executive order
Cryptocurrencies appeared to show signs of strength in the Asian session which have continued at the start of the European trading session with Bitcoin gaining over 8% and trading around $42,000, the highest level in a week. The crypto market cap is up over 6% today and has returned to around $1.85 Trillion after several days of uncertainty which followed the surge in demand seen at the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine conflict that was sparked by significant interest from people of that region as they attempted to seek refuge from the collapsing economy and currency. As has been the case in the past, Bitcoin and Ethereum appear to be dragging the rest of the market with the majority of alt-coins also adding to their gains despite generally lagging slightly behind the majors. Furthermore, US president Biden is expected to make an announcement today regarding an executive order on cryptocurrencies that may pave the way for a broader adoption of digital assets and boost investor confidence in the relatively new asset class. While details of this announcement remain unclear, any sign of regulation or mainstream adoption could prove to be a catalyst for a major move across the crypto markets thanks to the influx of new money of both retail and institutional investors.