European stock markets are expected to open lower Tuesday, amid ongoing concern that the Ukraine/Russia war will hurt global growth by pushing commodity prices sharply higher.
At 2 AM ET (0700 GMT), the DAX futures contract in Germany traded 0.2% lower, CAC 40 futures in France dropped 1.9% and the FTSE 100 futures contract in the U.K. fell 1.1%.
Talks between Russia and Ukraine to halt the conflict made scant progress on Monday, with Moscow continuing its bombardment of several Ukrainian cities, deepening the humanitarian crisis.
Kyiv has rejected Moscow’s offer of possible humanitarian corridors to Russia and Belarus, claiming that Russia violated three previous attempts to create them.
The conflict, and the sanctions the West has levied on Moscow as a result, has pushed oil prices up to 14-year highs, while European gas, nickel, and wheat have also climbed to record levels amid concerns about supply disruptions.
These widespread price rises have put the European Central Bank’s meeting on Thursday firmly into focus as policymakers must now grapple with the prospect of inflation, already at record highs, rising yet further just as a new crisis threatens the economy.
The ECB is due to cut bond buying over the coming quarters, but further big decisions look unlikely with the central bank unlikely to commit to anything given the uncertainty surrounding the impact of the Ukraine conflict.
In corporate news, Estee Lauder will be in the spotlight Tuesday after it announced its decision to suspend all commercial activities in Russia, including closing all its stores in the country.
The FTSE MIB fell by 3.04% to 22,972.20. In the cash markets, the DAX Germany was trading up by 1.60% to 13,043.65. CAC 40 in France rose by 2.70% to 6,141.37 while the FTSE 100 in the U.K. was up by 1.13% to 6,992.35 ,at the time of writing.