European equities fell slightly; New EU Sanctions Target Russian Oil By

© Reuters.

By Peter Nurse – European stock markets fell slightly on Wednesday after the European Union proposed new sanctions against Russia, including against Moscow’s oil, heightening geopolitical tension, ahead of the conclusion of the latest definition meeting. Federal Reserve policies.

As of 03:55 ET (07:55 GMT), Germany was trading down 0.1%, France down 0.1% and Britain down 0.2%.

The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to remove Russia’s largest bank Sberbank (MCX:) and two other banks from the SWIFT international transaction and messaging system as part of a sixth set of sanctions aimed at punishing Moscow for its war in Ukraine. .

Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen has also proposed banning three Russian public broadcasters and, more importantly, the bloc will stop importing Russian oil and refined products.

“We will phase out the Russian supply of crude oil within six months and of refined products by the end of the year,” Ursula von der Leyen told the European Parliament. “It will be a complete ban on imports of all Russian oil, transported by sea and by pipeline, crude and refined.”

Oil prices strengthened accordingly, with futures up 2.7% at $105.23 a barrel, while the contract rose 2.6% at $107.71.

Crude was already trading higher after industry data showed a sharp drop in U.S. crude inventories, signaling tighter supply in the world’s biggest oil consumer.

Investors are now awaiting crude oil supply data from , due later in the day, after data from the industry body showed US crude inventories fell by 3.5 million barrels last week.

Still, losses are limited as investors are also cautious ahead of the latest Federal Reserve.

The U.S. central bank is expected at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) to raise interest rates by half a percentage point and announce the start of the $9 trillion balance sheet reduction, stepping up its efforts to bring inflation down.

Corporate earnings also remained in focus on Wednesday.

Volkswagen preferred shares (ETR:) rose 0.7%, outperforming the broader index after Europe’s top automaker stuck to its current-year outlook, citing strong results in the first quarter as higher margins on its premium car segment and a significant financial gain on its hedging activities. compensate for the damage caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Siemens Healthineers (ETR:) stock rose 3.8% after the German medical device maker raised its 2022 targets due to increased demand for rapid COVID-19 antigen tests, HSBC stock (LON:) rose 1% after the UK-based bank launched its planned $1bn share buyback, while Ryanair’s (IR:) stock rose 0.4% after the low-cost airline’s load factor exceeded 90% for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On another side, Boohoo (LON:) Shares fell 11% after the British online fashion retailer reported a 28% drop in core annual profits and warned of a tough year ahead.

On the data front, the latest for April are expected in the Eurozone, as well as the March figures.

Additionally, it traded at $1,870.58 an ounce, while it edged higher to 1.0522.

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