Russian Troop Withdrawal Buoys U.S. Stocks; Peru Heads LatAm Gains

Oil prices slid almost 4% as tensions between Russia and Ukraine eased a little following Vladimir Putin’s announcement of a partial retreat

Russian President Vladimir Putin  Photographer: Thibault Camus/AFP/Getty Images
February 15, 2022 | 06:20 PM

A roundup of Tuesday’s stock market results from across the region

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. stock markets rebounded Tuesday after three sessions of declines, following Russia’s announcement of the beginning of the withdrawal of some troops following military exercises on the border with Ukraine.

The S&P 500 rose 1.58%, while the Dow Jones Industrials gained 1.22%, and the Nasdaq Composite (CCMPDL) led the gains with a rise of 2.53%.

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The U.S. and NATO had warned that Russia had amassed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for a possible invasion, and had demanded a withdrawal to ease tensions. Russia has rejected the accusations and said that movements of forces on its own territory are an internal matter.

President Joe Biden told a White House press briefing that the Russian government’s announcement “would be a good thing,” but said that this has not been “verified,” and that, on the contrary, Russia still maintains a threatening position.

Biden’s comments come after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held a three-hour meeting in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin.

🔑 Tuesday’s Key Data:

Oil prices fell by almost 4% as the tension between Ukraine and Russia eased, following the announcement by Vladimir Putin’s government.

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WTI fell 3.88% to $91.74, while benchmark Brent slid 3.64% to $92.97.

“Profit-taking in oil was inevitable after Russia’s defense ministry stated that some troops are starting to return to their regular bases after completing exercises. Talks between German Chancellor Scholz and President Putin supported market expectations that an imminent Russian invasion looks less likely,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda.

Investors are also keeping an eye on a possible nuclear deal with Iran, which would return the flow of Iranian oil to international markets.

🥇 The Leader:

In a session in which all Latin American stock markets registered gains, on a par with the international tone, the main indicator of the Peruvian market was the best performer.

The S&P BVL/Peru led the gains and reversed the trend with which it started the week. The financial, industrial and materials sectors were the best performers on Tuesday.

Stocks of companies such as Minsur (MINSURI1), Aenza (AENZAC1) and Credicorp (CRECAPC1) were among the best performers.

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Peru’s statistics bureau reported Tuesday that the Peruvian economy grew by 13.31% in 2021, slightly above the 13.2% growth forecast by the central bank. The contraction of economic activity in 2020 was above 11%

Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV), the leading index of the largest stock exchange by market capitalization in Latin America, closed with gains as risk aversion decreased due to the Russian announcements. The S&P/BMV IPC, the Mexican stock market’s main indicator, also ended in the green.

🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Coinbase Global (COIN), the largest cryptocurrency platform in the U.S., is entering the international money transfer business to compete with the likes of Western Union (WU).

The company said it has launched a free pilot program to send crypto funds to friends and family in Mexico. Recipients can convert tokens into pesos at participating locations across the country or invest the funds in a Coinbase account. The service will become fee-based after March 31.

“We recognize that this is a global issue. And while we are starting in Mexico, over time we will consider other regions where customers face similar challenges,” Coinbase said in a blog post.