Research Market strategy
By Swissquote Analysts
Published on 24.03.2022
Morning news

Putin Says Europe Must Pay for Gas In Rubles

Topic of the day

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he wants his country to only accept rubles in gas deals with European countries and other customers, adding a new financial dimension to tensions over energy supplies while the war in Ukraine rages. Mr. Putin said Russia would refuse to accept payment for natural-gas supplies in currencies "that have compromised themselves," including dollars and euros, and will switch to payments in rubles, state newswire TASS reported. "I have decided to implement a set of measures to transfer payment for our gas supplies to unfriendly countries into Russian rubles," Mr. Putin told a government meeting. Gas prices in Europe spiked after Mr. Putin's remarks, with Europe's regional gas benchmark, the TTF month-ahead contract, rising 19% before retreating and ending the day lower. Brent crude oil prices also rose around 5% to above $120 a barrel. Russia supplies around 40% of the EU's natural gas, a dependency that has cast a shadow over Europe's response to the war. European leaders have scrambled since the war broke out to reduce the region's reliance on Russian energy. Officials announced fresh legislation Wednesday to require gas storage facilities be filled to minimum levels and proposed the creation of a task force to coordinate gas purchases.

Looking for New Structured Product Ideas?

Swiss stocks

After the previous day's gains, the Swiss stock market lost ground in the middle of the week. The SMI fell by 0.8 per cent to 12,100 points. Among the 20 SMI stocks, there were 18 price losers and two price winners. 29.64 (previously: 33.85) million shares were traded. Financial stocks, which had recently benefited from the strong rise in yields, took profits. Shares in UBS, Swiss Re, Credit Suisse and Swiss Life were down between 0.5 and 1.5 per cent. Nestle shares lost 1.6 per cent. The food company is sharply scaling back its product range in Russia and suspending sales of pet food, coffee and sweets. Nestle now wants to limit itself to essential foods such as baby food and certain medical foods for as long as the war lasts.

International markets


European stocks edged into the red Wednesday as investors cautiously awaited upcoming political meetings on Ukraine, while oil prices surged above $120 a barrel. The Stoxx Europe 600 index lost 1% to 454 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 and the SBF 120 each lost 1.2%. In Frankfurt, the DAX 40 was down 1.3%, while the FTSE 100 in London gave up 0.2%. Air Liquide's (+2.3%) strengthened energy security ambitions and the acceleration of its decarbonisation drive, particularly in Europe, offer "structurally improved medium-term growth prospects for the stock", stated analysts at Goldman Sachs, who added the stock to their list of favourites. Danone (-1.2%) will maintain its local production of key dairy and infant nutrition products in Russia, according to an internal document seen by The Wall Street Journal. Bpifrance announced that its Lac1 fund had acquired a stake in Seb (-0.5%). However, the public investment bank did not specify the percentage of capital it holds or the amount of its investment. TotalEnergies (+0.8%) wants to stop buying Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. Virbac (-5.3%) confirmed all of its objectives for this year, including like-for-like sales growth of between 5% and 8%, after achieving its objectives in 2021.

United States

U.S. stocks declined and oil prices jumped, as concerns about rising energy prices, supply shortages and inflation rattled investors once again. The S&P 500 ticked down 1.23%, or 55.37 points, to close at 4456.24, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.29%, or 448.96 points, to 34358.50. The blue-chip index is 6.6% off the record close it hit on Jan. 4 and down 5.4% for the year. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index slid 1.3%, or 186.21 points, to 13922.60. Russia’s stock market is set for a partial reopening Thursday, almost a month after it closed following the country’s invasion of Ukraine. On Wednesday, fresh data on inflation showed that consumer prices in the U.K. rose 6.2% in February compared with a year earlier, up from 5.5% in January, marking the highest rate since March 1992. Higher oil prices could spark more consumer interest in electric vehicles, analysts said. Shares of Tesla gained 0.5%, or $5.13, to $999.11, marking a gain in seven straight days of trading, a run that has powered the EV maker 30.4% higher in that time period. Meanwhile, shares of meme stocks—which have largely slumped this year—enjoyed a resurgence. Shares of GameStop climbed 14.5%, or $17.86, to $141.00, after the company’s chairman, Ryan Cohen, disclosed his firm bought 100,000 shares of the company’s stock on Tuesday. Shares of AMC Entertainment Holdings, which tend to move in correlation with GameStop, climbed 13.6%, or $2.48, to close at $20.74. Shares of Adobe slumped 9.3%, or $43.55, to $422.90. The software company reported higher profit and better-than-expected revenue growth Tuesday, but said it expects a hit to annual revenue from the war in Ukraine.


In Asia, major indexes close mixed on Thursday. The Nikkei 225 index is down 0.1 per cent in late trading after starting more than 1 per cent weaker. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index is still 0.3 per cent lighter. Among the gainers there is China Mobile (+3.9 per cent) after the company presented business figures for 2021. In Shanghai, the composite index falls 0.8 per cent. In Singapore, prices are up 0.9 per cent on average after the government announced the easing of Corona restrictions. Oil sector stocks are sought after. In Japan, Inpex rises 1.2 per cent. CNOOC gains 3.1 per cent in Hong Kong.


Two-, 10- and 30-year Treasury yields dropped by the most in more than two weeks on Wednesday, as investors digested updates on the Federal Reserve’s policy path and monitored developments in the Russia-Ukraine war. Yields pulled back from their highest levels since 2019, even after two Fed officials commented on the likelihood of a 50 basis point increase in the benchmark interest rate target and an announcement on shrinking the central bank’s balance sheet. The ten-year US Treasury yield gave up 9 basis points to 2.292%. The two-year rate lost 5 basis points to 2.10%.


Jefferies lowers Givaudan target to CHF 3,300 (3,400) - Underperform

Berenberg cuts target Dermapharm to EUR 105 (110) - Buy

Jefferies reduces Air Liquide goal to EUR 179 (181) - Buy

Produced by MBI Martin Brückner Infosource GmbH & Co. KG on behalf of Swissquote. All news is acquired with journalistic accuracy. No liability is assumed for delays or errors.