Ukraine War Update: European ETFs rise, U.S. agriculture stocks fall amid peace talks

Mar. 29, 2022 4:11 PM ETVGK, EZU, MOS, AMD, JNJBy: Yoel Minkoff, SA News Editor255 Comments

Manometer and temperature sensor on pipeline

sergeyryzhov/iStock via Getty Images

Here are the latest headlines in the Russia-Ukraine crisis:

European ETFs Gain, U.S. Ag Stocks Drop

European ETFs rose some 2% to 3% Tuesday on word that Russian and Ukrainian negotiators might have made progress in their latest peace talks. The Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (VGK) added 2.5% on the news, while the iShares MSCI Eurozone ETF (EZU) gained 3.4%. Conversely, U.S. fertilizer maker Mosaic (MOS) and food processor Archer Daniels Midland (AMD) both fell some 5% because peace in farming powerhouse Ukraine could lower global grain prices.

No Rubles

G7 energy ministers have rejected Vladimir Putin's demand that Russian natural gas should be paid for in rubles, saying it would be a "clear and unilateral violation of existing contracts." The stance raises the possibility of energy supplies being cut off to Europe, which currently imports 40% of its gas needs from Russia. Robert Habeck, Germany's Economics and Energy Minister, said G7 countries were "prepared" for "all scenarios," including a potential halt of Russian supplies.

OPEC+ Membership

Russia will always be a part of OPEC+ despite the country's invasion of Ukraine, UAE Energy and Infrastructure Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei declared, saying that politics should not distract from the group's efforts to manage energy markets. "Who can replace Russia today? I cannot think of a country that can in a year, two, three, four or even 10 years replace 10M barrels. It’s not realistic," he added. "This talk is only going to push prices higher."

Talks in Istanbul

A breakthrough in Russia-Ukraine peace talks doesn't look likely as the two sides meet in Turkey, though there have been some positive developments towards a deal. Russia is no longer asking that Ukraine be "denazified" and is prepared to let the nation join the EU if it remains militarily non-aligned. That includes ditching its NATO aspirations, refraining from developing nuclear weapons and hosting foreign military bases.

Johnson & Johnson Cuts Off Shipments to Russia

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has joined the extensive list of big-name companies that have limited their business dealings with Russia since the country's invasion of Ukraine. JNJ announced that it will suspend supplies of its personal care products to the Vladimir Putin-led nation. However, the firm said it would continue to supply medicine and medical devices.

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