Global shares mostly fell Monday after a short-lived armed rebellion in Russia added to uncertainties over the war in Ukraine.
France’s CAC 40 dipped 0.4% in early trading to 7,135.23. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.2% to 15,797.27. Britain’s FTSE 100 fell 0.8% to 7,403.10. The futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures were down 0.2%.
The rebellion by mercenary soldiers who briefly took over a Russian military headquarters on an ominous march toward Moscow was over. But the brief weakened President Vladimir Putin just as his forces were facing a fierce counteroffensive in Ukraine.
Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner troops were some of Russia’s most effective fighters in Ukraine. Their aborted takeover of the capital also left their fate uncertain.
Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade, said such geopolitical uncertainties have set off a cautious mood.
“On the back of recent hawkish central bank moves amid high inflation and low growth environments, investors are now also having to factor in the chance of escalation on the geopolitical side of things, which is adding another layer of uncertainty to the equation,” he said.
Investors have been rattled, also by signs that Europe’s economy appears to be weaker than expected and by still more interest rates by central banks as they try to get inflation under control. High rates drive down inflation by slowing economic activity, which raises risks of recession.
In Asian trading, Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost nearly 0.3% to finish at 32,698.81. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.5% to 2,582.20. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.5% to 18,794.13, while the Shanghai Composite, reopening after a holiday, dropped 1.5% to 3,150.62. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.3% to 7,078.70.
“We have a slowing U.S. economy, a slowing global economy, all with on-going extreme inflation and high and going higher interest rate levels. There is no bullish stock market scenario here,” said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.
High interest rates in the United States have already dragged manufacturing and other industries into contraction, while also helping to cause several failures in the banking system that rattled confidence. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said last week that even though his central bank didn’t raise rates last week, it could still push through a couple more hikes by the end of this year.
A preliminary report last week indicated the overall U.S. economy continues to grow, even though manufacturing is shrinking and its output fell to a five-month low.
In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude rose 11 cents to $69.27 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell 35 cents to $69.16 on Friday. Brent crude, the international standard, gained 15 cents to $74.16 a barrel.
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar fell to 143.14 Japanese yen from 143.58 yen. The euro cost $1.0898, inching down from $1.0903.