Worst Week Since January for U.S. Markets; Brazil’s Ibovespa Sees Sharpest LatAm Losses

Markets are on edge amid the escalation of the war in Ukraine, while sanctions against Russia stoke inflation fears

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 2.18% on Friday. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg
March 11, 2022 | 10:10 PM

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

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. stock markets fell again on Friday after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that high-level talks he held this week with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov did not result in any progress towards peace, contrary to what Russian President Vladimir Putin had said earlier.

The S&P 500 closed with its worst weekly performance since the period ending January 21 by ending down 1.30%. Markets have been on edge as the escalating war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia stoked inflation fears and threatened the global economic recovery. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (CCMPDL) slid 2.18% and the Dow Jones Industrials was down 0.69% at closing.

“Stocks quickly gave up earlier gains as the West appears poised to continue to put more pressure on the Russian economy. President Joe Biden urged all allies to suspend normal trade with Russia, and the U.S. banned many imports from Russia,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda.


🔑 The Day’s Key Events:

Oil volatility hit a weekly record high on Friday as the war in Ukraine continues to rattle markets, which have been hit by the U.S. and U.K.’s ban on Russian crude imports.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose $3.31 to close at $109.33 per barrel in New York.

Rystad Energy has forecast that Brent could soar to $240 per barrel this summer if countries continue to sanction Russian oil imports, while Goldman Sachs says demand destruction is the only way to dampen high prices.


“The extreme intraday volatility perhaps says something about several things: the degree of uncertainty, the nature of news flow, the spillover effect of some chaotic spot markets and relatively low liquidity levels in some spots,” Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Standard Chartered told Bloomberg.

🥇 The Leader:

Chile’s Ipsa (IPSA) index had the best performance in Latin America, closing the day with an increase of 0.53%.

The index closed benefited by the shares of Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile SA (SPBLPGPT), Banco Crédito e Inversiones SA and CAP SA (CAP).

There are expectations in the country after the investiture of Gabriel Boric as president on Friday. Although his arrival was surrounded by uncertainty in recent days due to his leftist position, he appointed a cabinet of reconciliation with the market headed by the former president of the Central Bank Mario Marcel, who will head the Ministry of Finance.


📉 A Bad Day:

Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV) had the region’s worst performance on Friday, closing with a drop of 1.72%, with investors attentive to the increase in fuel prices and government actions to soften the rise.

Petrobras (PETR3; PETR4) announced Thursday a historic readjustment of around 19% for gasoline and 25% for diesel at refineries, effective as of this Friday.

The energy, consumer and real estate sectors had the worst performance during the day.


Argentina’s Merval index (Merval) closed with a drop of 1.42%. Mexico’s S&P BMV/IPC (MEXBOL) ended the day with a loss of 0.16% and Peru’s S&P/BVL (SPBLPGPT) lost 0.06%.

🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Public health experts at the World Health Organization (WHO) have already begun debating when and how to declare the end of the global Covid-19 crisis, more than two years after the virus emerged.

The WHO said it is not currently considering such a declaration and that discussions at the Geneva-based agency are focused on what conditions would finally signal that the public health emergency, declared on January 30, 2020, is over. Such a declaration would not only be a significant symbolic step, but would give a boost to the rollback of many pandemic-era public health policies.

“The International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Covid-19 is considering the criteria necessary to declare the public health emergency of international concern terminated,” the agency said in an email. “At this time, we have not yet reached that point”.