Russia

European Markets Close Lower as Ukraine-Russia War Weighs on Sentiment; Pearson Rises 8%

Gleb Garanich | Reuters
  • Global markets continue to be buffeted by events in Europe as Russia's war on Ukraine wreaks death and destruction on the country.
  • The U.S. Federal Reserve is also in focus this week as it is expected to raise its target fed funds rate by a quarter percentage point at the end of its two-day meeting which starts on Tuesday.

LONDON — European stocks pulled back on Tuesday as global market sentiment was hit by Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down 0.3%, paring some of its earlier losses. Basic resources fell 2% to lead losses while media stocks gained 1.8%.

Global markets continue to be buffeted by events in Europe as Russia's war on Ukraine wreaks death and destruction on the country.

Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials took place again on Tuesday in a bid to establish a solid cease-fire and find room for any compromise between Russia and Ukraine's demands. The U.S. Federal Reserve is also in focus this week as it is expected to raise its target fed funds rate by a quarter percentage point from zero at the end of its two-day meeting which starts on Tuesday.

Investors are also awaiting the central bank's new forecasts for rates, inflation and the economy, given the uncertainty from escalated geopolitical tensions.

U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday morning as investors kept an eye on cease-fire negotiations, while oil prices continued to slide further below $100 per barrel and a reading of wholesale inflation came in lighter than expected.

Elsewhere, shares in China lagged among Asia-Pacific markets on Tuesday, though some losses were pared following the release of Chinese economic data that was far above expectations.

Still, China is currently facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since the height of the pandemic in 2020, with major cities including Shenzhen limiting business activity. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index plunged 5.72% on Tuesday.

Earnings came from Volkswagen, RWE and H&M on Tuesday. On the data front, the ZEW Economic Sentiment Index from Germany plunged in March to -39.3, well below consensus expectations in a Reuters poll of 10.0 and down from 54.3 in the previous month.

In terms of individual share price movement, Anglo-Russian miner Polymetal International plunged more than 22% as the stock remains gripped by volatility linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

At the top of the European blue chip index, British publishing and education company Pearson added 8.6%.

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— CNBC.com staff contributed to this market report.

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