Easing border tensions and CSL’s upside surprise top this week’s big market events


An apparent easing in European geopolitical tensions and no nasty surprises in this week’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes supported US equity markets during the first half of the week.

The Australian sharemarket, the ASX200, made good gains as the domestic earnings season picked up the pace and as it was supported by a positive lead from Wall Street.

Here are the top five things that happened in markets this week.

1. Russian-Ukraine border tensions eased

News that Russian troops were set to pull back from the Ukraine border prompted a relief rally in equity markets.

However, as noted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, evidence of a withdrawal is lacking.

“They remain massed in a very threatening way along Ukraine’s borders,” he said.

“It would be good if they followed through on what they said, but so far we haven’t seen that.”

2. CSL earnings beat expectations

Bio-tech giant CSL released 1H2022 earnings that beat expectations.

Revenue of $5.81 billion was above the $5.56 billion expected while 1H22 EBIT of $2.21 billion exceeded the $2.03 billion forecast.

The stock closed over 8 per cent higher and added 30 points to the ASX200 alone in trading on Wednesday.

3. Crude oil falls on promising Iranian/US nuclear negotiations

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani said we are closer than ever to an agreement”.

Should a deal be concluded with the US, it could lead to a resumption of sanctions-free Iranian crude oil that will ease tightness in the oil market.

Crude oil futures fell 3 per cent following the announcement.

4. Gold hits eight-month highs

Gold climbed to $US1879 ($2605), its highest level since last June, supported by demand from investors keen to protect portfolios against inflation and debasement of fiat currency, equity market volatility and geopolitical tensions.

5. UK inflation surprises again

UK inflation surprised to the upside again in January, with headline inflation rising to 5.5 per cent year on year and core inflation to 4.4 per cent year on year.

Combined with a tight labour market and as four members voted for a 50-basis-point move in February, a rate hike from the Bank of England next month looks near certain.

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All trading carries risk. The figures stated are as of February  17, 2022. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. This report does not contain and is not to be taken as containing any financial product advice or financial product recommendation.
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