European markets benefit as energy companies set to cave into Russia

After a volatile Wednesday session, European stock markets pushed higher on Thursday. However, the market closed in positive territory.

London’s FTSE 100 ( FTSE), gained 0.6% upon opening. The French CAC ( FCHI), rose 1.1%, and the DAX( GDAXI), was 0.9% lower in Frankfurt.

This happened as natural gas prices fell this morning, as EU buyers prepare to give in to Vladimir Putin’s request for payments in rubles. After two consecutive days of gains, benchmark European prices dropped as high as 6.9%.

According to reports, European energy companies, including Uniper and Eni, are currently preparing to make payments to Gazprombank accounts. This will allow them to continue receiving supplies from Russia, without violating any sanctions.

Despite Brussels’s repeated pleas to firms not to comply with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demands, this is despite the fact that sanctions are being violated.

Gazprom confirmed Wednesday that it shut off the taps for Poland and Bulgaria because they failed to pay in Russian roubles. It also stated that supplies would be stopped until payment is made.

S&P 500 futures were up 1.3% while Dow futures rose 0.7%. Nasdaq futures were 2.2% higher when the trade started in Europe.

This comes after April was a disappointing month on Wall Street, in particular. The tech-heavy Nasdaq hit a one-year low last night before surviving to finish the month more or less unchanged.

The US dollar surged to a five year high against a basket currency.

Michael Hewson, CMC Markets, stated that while the Japanese yen has been the main focus of attention this month, the spotlight is shifting to the euro. The single currency fell below 1.0630 and 2020 lows, raising concerns about a move towards 1.0334 and possibly a move toward parity.

“If this happens, it would be a huge challenge for the European Central Bank. They are trying to manage the market expectations around rate hikes in the face of rising inflation.

Later today, traders will be focusing on the performance of the US economy in the first quarter. This is against the backdrop of a strong labour market and low consumer confidence.

In the meantime, weekly US jobless claims will remain stable at 180,0000, while continuing claims will fall below 1.4million.

After a difficult week, Asian markets saw some relief on Thursday after Chinese policymakers pledged further fiscal support.

The Nikkei ( N225) increased 1.7% in Japan. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 1.3% and the Shanghai Composite ( 000001.SS_) advanced 0.6%.

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