U.S. Stocks Recover; Chile’s IPSA Ends Upward Streak

Oil prices rise again as operators eye the war between Russia and Ukraine, which could paralyze Russian supply

A digital board on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
March 22, 2022 | 07:45 PM

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

🗽 On Wall Street:

U.S. stock markets recovered on Tuesday, a day after a harsher tone by Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, aroused expectations of a more restrictive stance than expected, with interest rates to continue to rise to curb inflation.

The S&P 500 closed up 1.13%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.95%, and the Dow Jones Industrials gained 0.74%.

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Craig Johnson, chief market technician at Piper Sandler, wrote in a note that there could be indications that U.S. stocks have bottomed out. “The collective technical evidence suggests that corrective lows have likely been established,” he said in a report seen by Bloomberg News.

However, investors are bracing for weeks of volatility amid the Fed’s posturing and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“The impact of this war is an unknown, but what we do know is that the longer it lasts, the greater the risk of stagflation for the global economy,” added Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda.

🔑 The Day’s Key Developments:

Oil prices fell after the possibility of the European Union (EU) issuing sanctions against crude oil exported by Russia became ran into obstacles, in the analysis of a new round of measures that the bloc is studying.

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Germany depends on crude imports from Russia and has so far rejected the proposed embargo, as has Hungary, which is also against such a measure, Bloomberg News reported.

Despite the drop, WTI and Brent benchmarks remain above $110 as fears persist of a supply cut from the world’s third-largest oil producer.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said he expects leaders to discuss, but probably not yet approve, more sanctions against Russia when they meet in Brussels later this week.

However, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters at the White House that President Joe Biden, who will travel to Europe for meetings, will join his “partners in imposing more sanctions on Russia and tightening existing sanctions.”

🥇 The Leader:

The Colombian stock market had the best performance in Latin America and its main index, the Colcap, closed up 1.05%, after it resumed operations after Monday’s holiday.

The energy, finance and materials sectors were the best performers during the day. Specifically, the shares of Ecopetrol (ECOPETL), Bancolombia’s Preferential, Grupo Sura’s Preferential and ISA’s (ISA) registered the best performance during the day.

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Brazil’s Ibovespa (IBOV) had the second best performance of the day and closed with an increase of 0.96%.

The tone of optimism in global markets was reflected in the Brazilian stock market, as investors analyzed the minutes of the Central Bank’s last monetary policy meeting.

In them, the monetary authority reiterated the prospect of a one percentage point increase in the Selic, to 12.75% per annum, at the next meeting in May.

The Mexican stock market also added to the optimism, with the S&P BMV/IPC (MEXBOL) up 0.46% at closing.

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📉 A Bad Day:

The Chilean stock market’s main index, the IPSA (IPSA), had the worst performance among its Latin American peers, after Monday’s fifth consecutive session with gains and its second best day of the year, closing with a drop of 2.13% on Tuesday, with the energy, financial and information technology sectors as the worst performers.

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The market’s fall followed Monday night’s approval by the Chamber of Deputies to admit for legislative debate a new bill allowing early withdrawals from pension funds.

With 117 votes in favor and 26 against, the Lower House decided to open the door for legislators to vote on the new proposal. In the last two years, similar initiatives have led to $50 billion being withdrawn from retirement savings accounts.

Newly appointed Finance Minister Mario Marcel was a staunch opponent of pension withdrawals when he was president of the central bank.

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🍝 For the Dinner Table Debate:

Latin America has a new unicorn, and it was born in Mexico: Jeeves, a corporate card and expense management platform for companies around the world, which announced that it has raised a Series C round of $180 million, bringing its valuation to $2.1 billion.

The round was led by Chinese tech firm Tencent, but the list of investors is extensive, ranging from Stanford University to Carlos Enrico, Mastercard’s president for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since Bloomberg Línea spoke to Jeeves in September last year, Dileep Thazhmon, CEO and founder of the startup, said the company has grown nearly 10- to 15-fold since then. “In fact, in January and February, we had more revenue than in the entire year 2021″, Thazhmon said.

Back then, when it closed its CRV-led Series B, it had 40 employees, and now has 150 employees and expects to have 400 by the end of this year.