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Lula launches presidential bid, says to defend Brazil’s democracy

SAO PAULO, May 7 (Reuters) – Former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva launched his presidential bid on Saturday calling on Brazilians to unite behind him to defend Brazil’s democracy from the authoritarian government of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Without mentioning Bolsonaro by name, Lula told supporters at a rally that his adversary was unable to govern and lied constantly to the nation to hide his incompetence.

“The most serious moment the country is going through forces us to overcome our differences and build an alternative path to the incompetence and authoritarianism that govern us,” he said.

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“We want to join democrats of all political positions, classes, races and religious beliefs … to defeat the totalitarian threat, the hatred, violence and discrimination hanging over our country,” he said to a cheering crowd.

The rally was called a “pre-launch” to comply with Brazilian election law that says official campaigning for the October election starts in August.

Recent opinion polls show Lula maintaining a comfortable advantage over his rival if the election were held today, though Bolsonaro has gained ground by boosting welfare spending and traveling around the country.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly questioned Brazil’s electronic voting system, raising fears he might not admit defeat.

Lula said he has forged a widening alliance of seven left-of-center parties so far, and has picked centrist former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin for his running mate to draw moderate voters not happy with Bolsonaro’s administration.

Lula stressed his achievements during his two terms from 2003-2010 when Brazil grew fast due to a commodities super-boom, allowing his government to raise millions from poverty.

“Brazil has returned to the somber past we thought we had overcome,” he said, mentioning the rise of hunger among poor Brazilians.

Alckmin addressed the rally remotely by video after testing positive for COVID-19.

Lula, a 76-year-old widower, said he was in love with his girlfriend Rosangela da Silva. They plan to marry on May 18.

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Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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Ukrainian Railways limit exports of some food staples, consultancy says, article with image

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Ears of wheat are seen in a field near the village of Hrebeni in Kyiv region, Ukraine July 17, 2020. Picture taken July 17, 2020. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko/File Photo

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KYIV, April 16 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s state-owned railway company has temporarily restricted the transportation of some agricultural goods through border crossings to Poland and Romania, consultancy APK-Inform said on Saturday.

It gave no reason for the restrictions.

Ukraine, a major agricultural producer, used to export most of its goods through seaports but since Russia’s invasion has been forced to export by train via its western border.

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APK-Inform said restrictions on the movement of goods to Poland through Yahodyn have been put in place from April 16 to April 18.

There are also restrictions on the transportation of cereals, oilseeds, grains and other food products through Izov to the Polish towns of Hrubeszew and Slawkov.

From April 16 until further notice, there are restrictions on the export of grain and seeds to Romania through the Dyakovo and Vadul-Siret crossings, the consultancy said.

The railway company was not available for immediate comment.

Ukrainian agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi said this week the main task of the ministry was to find alternative ways to export Ukrainian grain. The country has millions of tonnes of various commodities available for exports.

Solskyi also said 1.25 million tonnes of grain and oilseeds were on commercial vessels blocked in Ukrainian seaports and may soon deteriorate.

Before the war, Ukraine exported up to 6 million tonnes of grain and oilseed a month. In March, exports fell to 200,000 tonnes.

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Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Christina Fincher

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Amid Sanctions, Putin Reminds the World of His Own Economic Weapons

LONDON — In the five weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, the United States, the European Union and their allies began an economic counteroffensive that has cut off Russia’s access to hundreds of billions of dollars of its own money and halted a large chunk of its international commerce. More than 1,000 companies, organizations and individuals, including members of President Vladimir V. Putin’s inner circle, have been sanctioned and relegated to a financial limbo.

But Mr. Putin reminded the world this past week that he has economic weapons of his own that he could use to inflict some pain or fend off attacks.

Through a series of aggressive measures taken by the Russian government and its central bank, the ruble, which had lost nearly half of its value, clawed its way back to near where it was before the invasion.

And then there was the threat to stop the flow of gas from Russia to Europe — which was set off by Mr. Putin’s demand that 48 “unfriendly countries” violate their own sanctions and pay for natural gas in rubles. It sent leaders in the capitals of Germany, Italy and other allied nations scrambling and showcased in the most visible way since the war began how much they need Russian energy to power their economies.

Russian oil exports normally represent more than one of every 10 barrels the world consumes.

Europe’s ongoing energy purchases send as much as $850 million each day into Russia’s coffers, according to Bruegel, an economics institute in Brussels. That money helps Russia to fund its war efforts and blunts the impact of sanctions. Because of soaring energy prices, gas export revenues from Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, injected $9.3 billion into the country’s economy in March alone, according an estimate by Oxford Economics, a global advisory firm.

Ursula von der Leyen, said as much when she announced the new energy plan last month: “We simply cannot rely on a supplier who explicitly threatens us.”

Security concerns aren’t the only development that has undermined Russia’s standing as a long-term energy supplier. What seemed surprising to economists, lawyers and policymakers about Mr. Putin’s demand to be paid in rubles was that it would have violated sacrosanct negotiated contracts and revealed Russia’s willingness to be an unreliable business partner.

As he has tried to wield his energy clout externally, Mr. Putin has taken steps to insulate Russia’s economy from the impact of sanctions and to prop up the ruble. Few things can undermine a country as systemically as an abruptly weakened currency.

When the allies froze the assets of the Russian central bank and sent the ruble into a downward spiral, the bank increased the interest rate to 20 percent, while the government mandated that companies convert 80 percent of the dollars, euros and other foreign currencies they earn into rubles to increase demand and drive up the price.

S&P Global survey of purchasing managers at Russian manufacturing companies showed severe declines in production, employment and new orders in March, as well as sharp price increases.

500 foreign companies have pulled up stakes in Russia, scaled back operations and investment, or pledged to do so.

“Russia does not have the capabilities to replicate domestically the technology that it would otherwise have gained from overseas,” according to an analysis by Capital Economics, a research group based in London. That is not a good sign for increasing productivity, which even before the war, was only 35 to 40 percent of the United States’.

The result is that however the war in Ukraine ends, Russia will be more economically isolated than it has been in decades, diminishing whatever leverage it now has over the global economy as well as its own economic prospects.

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Biden will tap oil reserve, hoping to push gasoline prices down.

Energy experts said the reserve release would pack more punch if other countries, like China, also sold oil from their stockpiles. The International Energy Agency, an organization of more than 30 countries, will meet Friday and may recommend further releases from national reserves.

Russian oil exports normally represent more than one of every 10 barrels the world consumes. The United States, Britain and Canada have stopped importing Russian oil, and many oil companies and shippers in Europe have voluntarily stopped buying Russia’s energy products. That has produced a deficit so far of about three million barrels a day.

The average price of regular gasoline in the United States is $4.23 a gallon, according to AAA, the motor club. That’s about the same as it was a week ago but up 62 cents a gallon in the last month.

Oil prices had dropped this week after peace talks between Russia and Ukraine showed the first signs of progress. Energy traders are also concerned that demand could fall as China, the world’s largest oil importer, imposes lockdowns in Shanghai and other places to deal with coronavirus outbreaks.

“The price effect is likely to be short term,” David Goldwyn, who was a senior State Department official in the Obama administration, said about Mr. Biden’s announcement. “But part of the benefit of this release is that it will provide a bridge to when new physical supply comes online in the second half of this year from the U.S., Canada, Brazil and other countries.”

Some environmentalists criticized the reserve release. “Putting more oil on the market is not the solution to our problem but the perpetuation of our problem,” said Mark Brownstein, a senior vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund.

But Meghan L. O’Sullivan, director of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School, said releasing reserves to ease shortages would not imperil the transition to clean energy. “What the last month has told us is that if there is no energy security today, the appetite for taking hard steps on the path of transition will evaporate,” she said.

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LME suspends nickel trading after prices soar past $100,000, article with image

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  • LME’s biggest crisis in decades
  • Says considering closing for several days
  • Big long and big short positions clashed -broker
  • China’s Tsingshan Holding Group held short position -sources
  • Shanghai raises nickel trading fees, warns investors

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange (LME) was forced to halt nickel trading and cancel trades after prices doubled on Tuesday to more than $100,000 per tonne in a surge sources blamed on short covering by one of the world’s top producers.

The LME’s shock move came as Western sanctions threatened supply from major producer Russia and marked the biggest crisis to hit the 145-year-old exchange in decades.

In the 1990s a rogue Sumitomo trader tried to corner the copper market and tin trading was stopped for five years in the 1980s.

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“The current events are unprecedented,” the LME said in a notice to members. “The suspension of the nickel market has created a number of issues for market participants which need to be addressed.”

Amid market panic sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, buyers are scrambling for the metal crucial for making stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries.

Traders said some position holders have also been struggling to pay margin calls.

China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, one of the world’s top nickel and stainless steel producers, had been building a short position in nickel since last year, betting prices would fall, three sources familiar with the matter said. read more

Prices rocketed as Tsingshan bought large amounts of nickel to reduce those short bets and its exposure to costly margin calls, they said.

Tsingshan and the LME declined to comment.

The LME raised margin requirements for nickel contracts by 12.5% to $2,250 a tonne and suspended nickel trading on all venues for at least the rest of the day. read more

The LME announced that all trades will be voided from midnight until 8:15 a.m. on Tuesday when trading stopped and added that it was considering a closure of several days.

“People will be asking if this really a functioning market… This is meant to be a market of last resort and people can’t get inventories to deliver against positions,” said Colin Hamilton, managing director of commodities research at BMO Capital Markets.

The LME also deferred physical delivery of maturing contracts and announced it would temporarily stop publishing official and closing nickel prices. read more

“The LME will actively plan for the reopening of the nickel market, and will announce the mechanics of this to the market as soon as possible.”

PRICES DOUBLE IN HOURS

Three-month nickel on the LME more than doubled to $101,365 a tonne before the LME halted trade on its electronic systems and in the open outcry ring.

Nickel had pared gains to $80,000 a tonne when trading was halted, up 66% on the day and a staggering 177% since Monday.

In China, the Shanghai Futures Exchange raised fees for nickel trading and urged investors to “fend off risks, invest rationally, and work together to maintain market stability”.

Nickel on the Shanghai exchange hit its upward limit in night trading at a record 267,700 yuan ($42,380.39) per tonne and also reached the 15% limit up early on Tuesday.

CITIC Futures, China’s biggest futures company, warned clients that if nickel prices continued to jump on Wednesday, the Shanghai exchange could take action, including forced position cuts, an internal notice seen by Reuters showed.

LME nickel suspended after it doubles

MARKET BATTLE

The explosive gains, which have seen prices quadruple over the past week, resulted from two major players facing off, said Malcolm Freeman of Kingdom Futures, who declined to identify them.

One entity has control of between 50% and 80% of LME inventories, LME data shows.

“There’s a very big short and a very big long who’ve been sparring. And because of their sparring, it’s brutalised so many other shorts,” said Freeman.

Some small industrial users have been caught in the crossfire, having taken positions to get physical delivery but then hit with margins calls costing millions of dollars, he added. read more

The uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion and resulting sanctions has added to an already bullish nickel market due to low inventories, which have halved on the LME since October.

Russia not only supplies about 10% of the world’s nickel but Russia’s Nornickel is the world’s biggest supplier of battery- grade nickel at 15%-20% of global supply, said JPMorgan analyst Dominic O’Kane.

The LME is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

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Additional reporting by Praima Desai and Zandi Shabalala in London, Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru, Meg Shen in Hong Kong, Emily Chow in Beijing; editing by Jason Neely

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Factbox: Commodity supplies at risk after Russia invades Ukraine, article with image

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LONDON, March 4 (Reuters) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of new Western sanctions against Russia have fuelled fears about supplies of key commodities produced and exported by Russian companies.

See for a Factbox on commodity price gains since the close on Feb. 23, the day before the invasion started.

Following are some details about Russia’s major commodity exports.

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CRUDE OIL

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer after the United States and Saudi Arabia with output of 11 million barrels per day (bpd).

It rivals Saudi Arabia for the title of the world’s largest oil exporter with around 7 million bpd of crude and oil products exported abroad, of which Asia takes around a half while Europe, the United States and the rest of the world take the rest.

GAS

Russia is the world’s second largest gas producer after the United States and the largest exporter, with flows going predominantly to Europe and covering 40% of the continent’s gas needs.

COAL

Russia is the world’s sixth largest coal producer with output of 400 million tonnes of coal, amounting to more than 5% of global production.

It is the world’s third largest exporter, shipping more than half its output overseas, with China being the main destination.

ALUMINIUM

Most Russian metal producers have so far escaped sanctions imposed by the West since Moscow annexed the Crimea in 2014.

One exception is the world’s largest aluminium producer outside China, Rusal , under sanctions imposed by the United States between April 2018 and early 2019.

Rusal produced 3.8 million tonnes of aluminium in 2021, about 6% of the estimated world production.

Europe, Asia and North America are Rusal’s main markets. Miner and commodity trader Glencore (GLEN.L) has a long-term deal running until 2025 to buy primary aluminium from Rusal.

COBALT

Data from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows Russia produced 7,600 tonnes of cobalt last year, more than 4% of the global total.

Russia was the second largest producer, far behind the Democratic Republic of Congo which produced 120,000 tonnes.

Nornickel (GMKN.MM) is the largest producer in Russia, selling 5,000 tonnes in 2021. Nornickel sells most of its output to Europe.

COPPER

Russia produced 920,000 tonnes of refined copper last year, about 3.5% of the world total, according to USGS, out of which Nornickel produced 406,841 tonnes.

Asia and Europe are the main export markets.

NICKEL

Nornickel is the world’s top producer of refined nickel. It produced 193,006 tonnes in 2021 or about 7% of global mine production estimated at 2.7 million tonnes. It sells to global industrial consumers under long-term contracts.

PALLADIUM AND PLATINUM

Nornickel is also the world’s largest producer of palladium and a major producer of platinum.

It produced 2.6 million troy ounces of palladium last year or 40% of global mine production and 641,000 ounces of platinum or about 10% of total mine production.

GOLD

Russia is the world’s third largest producer of gold after Australia and China and accounts for about 10% of global mine production, which according to the World Gold Council totalled 3,500 tonnes last year.

Russian gold is produced by companies that include Polyus (PLZL.MM) and Polymetal (POLYP.L). Russian miners mainly sell their gold to the country’s commercial banks which then export it.

TITANIUM

Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma (VSMO.MM) supplies titanium to Boeing and Airbus. read more

Data from USGS shows Russia produced 27,000 tonnes of titanium sponge and Ukraine 5,400 tonnes last year, 15% of the global total at 210,000 tonnes.

STEEL

Russia produced 76 million tonnes of steel or nearly 4% of the global total, according to the World Steel Association.

Severstal (CHMF.MM), NLMK (NLMK.MM), Evraz (EVRE.L), MMK (MAGN.MM) and Mechel (MTLR.MM) are Russia’s main producers. They export about half of their production, mainly to Europe.

DIAMONDS

State-controlled Alrosa (ALRS.MM), the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, produced 32.4 million carats in 2021, about 30% of the global total. It exports mostly to Belgium, India and the United Arab Emirates.

FERTILISERS

Russia is a major producer of potash, phosphate and nitrogen containing fertilisers – key crop and soil nutrients. It produces more than 50 million tonnes a year of the fertilisers, 13% of the global total.

Phosagro (PHOR.MM), Uralchem, Uralkali, Acron (AKRN.MM) and Eurochem are the biggest players.

They export to Asia and Brazil.

GRAINS/OILSEEDS

Russia and Ukraine are both major wheat suppliers, accounting for a combined 29% of global exports, the bulk of which go through ports in the Black Sea.

The movement of vessels on the smaller Azov Sea has already been suspended and if shipments are disrupted from the Black Sea it will leave major importers, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, scrambling to find alternative supplies.

Ukraine is one of the world’s top four corn (maize) exporters along with the United States, Argentina and Brazil.

The two countries also account for about 80% of global exports of sunflower oil.

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Reporting by Pratima Desai, Moscow newsroom, Nigel Hunt and Dmitry Zhdannikov;
Editing by Susan Fenton

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Ukrainian Invasion Adds to Chaos for Global Supply Chains

And if the conflict is prolonged, it could threaten the summer wheat harvest, which flows into bread, pasta and packaged food for vast numbers of people, especially in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Food prices have already skyrocketed because of disruptions in the global supply chain, increasing the risk of social unrest in poorer countries.

On Tuesday, the global shipping giant Maersk announced that it would temporarily suspend all shipments to and from Russia by ocean, air and rail, with the exception of food and medicine. Ocean Network Express, Hapag-Lloyd and MSC, the world’s other major ocean carriers, have announced similar suspensions.

“The war just makes the worldwide situation for commodities more dire,” said Christopher F. Graham, a partner at White and Williams.

Jennifer McKeown, the head of global economics service at Capital Economics, said the global economy appeared relatively insulated from the conflict. But she said shortages of materials like palladium and xenon, used in semiconductor and auto production, could add to current difficulties for those industries. Semiconductor shortages have halted production at car plants and other facilities, fueling price increases and weighing on sales.

“That could add to the shortages that we’re already seeing, exacerbate those shortages, and end up causing further damage to global growth,” she said.

International companies are also trying to comply with sweeping financial sanctions and export controls imposed by Europe, the United States and a number of other countries that have clamped down on flows of goods and money in and out of Russia.

In just a few days, Western governments moved to exclude certain Russian banks from using the SWIFT messaging system, limit the Russian central bank’s ability to prop up the ruble, cut off shipments of high-tech goods and freeze the global assets of Russian oligarchs.

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Wall Street Week Ahead: Some investors wary of ‘buying the dip’ as Ukraine, Fed gyrate stocks, article with image

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Raindrops hang on a sign for Wall Street outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., October 26, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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NEW YORK, Feb 27 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks drew buyers after a recent tumble, but some investors believe buying the dip this time may be a far riskier bet than in the past as markets face geopolitical strife and a hawkish Federal Reserve.

The benchmark S&P 500 surged more than 6% from Thursday’s lows to close higher on the week, after investors swooped in following sharp declines on the heels of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. read more

Investors were preparing for more gyrations in asset prices after Western nations announced a harsh set of sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including blocking some banks from the SWIFT international payments system. [ read more

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On the surface, last week’s rebound resembled past bounces the index has experienced in its more than 200% run over the past decade, when “buying the dip” proved a winning strategy.

Yet while bargain hunters over the last two years could count on the Fed’s historically loose monetary policy to offer stocks support, today they face heightened geopolitical uncertainty and a central bank that is expected to pull out the stops in its fight against inflation – starting with a widely anticipated rate increase in March.

“Investors were trained to buy the dip because they had the backing of the Fed. But now you could make a case that this is one of the most significant geopolitical events for the last decade, and you don’t have the Fed in your corner,” said Burns McKinney, a senior portfolio manager at NFJ Investment Group.

The S&P is down 8% year-to-date and confirmed it was in a correction by falling more than 10% from its record high earlier this week – its biggest decline since stocks lost nearly a third of their value in the COVID-19 selloff of March 2020 before doubling from their lows.

Many expect geopolitical tensions to continue plaguing markets, as the implications from the war in Ukraine become clearer.

Kyle Bass, founder and chief investment officer of hedge fund Hayman Capital Management, believes investors still have not factored in all of the possible outcomes that could result from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including a prolonged conflict that weighs on global growth and sends inflation higher by pushing up commodity prices.

“This is going to get worse before it gets better,” he told Reuters in a recent interview. “Asset managers don’t have these outcomes in their realm of possibilities.”

Measures to cut off some Russian banks off from SWIFT and place restrictions on the Russian central bank’s international reserves may fuel more market swings, including a renewed rush to safe haven assets such as gold and Treasuries, investors said. read more

“We saw an equity rally and risk assets rally recently on the basis that the West was not going to impose very severe sanctions, but that is certainly going to change,” said Peter Kinsella, global head of FX strategy at UBP. “The fact that it looks like this is going to be a more drawn out and protracted conflict is not a particularly good environment for risky assets.”

Bass said investors should own assets that can hold value during inflationary times, such as commodities and real estate.

McKinney is buying dividend-paying stocks that he expects to withstand future volatility in the market and moving some money into defense companies.

In addition to the fast-moving situation in Ukraine, investors next week will be watching Friday’s non-farm payrolls data for February – the last such employment report the Fed will see before its monetary policy meeting in March.

Anticipation of Fed tightening has weighed on markets in recent weeks, as investors price in around 165 points of interest rate increases by next February. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said he expected to raise interest rates in March for the first time since 2018. FEDWATCH

Though Ukraine remains in flux, those in favor of buying on weakness argue that stock declines from past geopolitical events have been short-lived. LPL Financial’s study of 37 major geopolitical events since World War Two found that stocks were up an average of 11% one year later, provided a recession does not occur.

Retail investors have been among the dip buyers, purchasing a net $1.5 billion on Thursday, data from Vanda Research showed. read more

BlackRock (BLK.N)last week added to its strategic overweight in equities, saying investors may be overestimating how hawkish central banks will need to be in their battle against inflation. JPMorgan’s (JPM.N) analysts, meanwhile, argued that “initial volatility around rate liftoff didn’t last and equities made new all-time highs 2-4 quarters out.”

Others, however, are taking a more dour view, as the markets price in Fed tightening in the face of soaring inflation.

Charles Lemonides, portfolio manager of hedge fund ValueWorks LLC has been increasing his bets against some stocks, including semiconductor maker Broadcom Inc (AVGO.O) and plant-based meat company Beyond Meat Inc , skeptical that markets will be able to sustain a rally in the face of a hawkish Fed.

“The reality is that the market has had a huge run and inevitably you give back some of those gains,” he said.

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Reporting by David Randall; Additional reporting by Ira Iosebashvili and Karin Strohecker; Writing by Ira Iosebashvili; Editing by Richard Chang, Chris Reese and Diane Craft

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Why the Toughest Sanctions on Russia Are the Hardest for Europe to Wield

The punishing sanctions that the United States and European Union have so far announced against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine include shutting the government and banks out of global financial markets, restricting technology exports and freezing assets of influential Russians. Noticeably missing from that list is the one reprisal that would cause Russia the most pain: choking off the export of Russian fuel.

The omission is not surprising. In recent years, the European Union has received nearly 40 percent of its gas and more than a quarter of its oil from Russia. That energy heats Europe’s homes, powers its factories and fuels its vehicles, while pumping enormous sums of money into the Russian economy.

a third of the national budget. But a cutoff would hurt Europe as well.

37 percent of its global trade in 2020. About 70 percent of Russian gas exports and half of its oil exports go to Europe.

The flip side of mutual interest is mutual pain.

European leaders are caught between wanting to punish Russia for its aggression and to protect their own economies.

halt Nord Stream 2 — the completed gas pipeline that directly links Russia and northeastern Germany — is among the most consequential that Europe has taken, said Mathieu Savary, chief European investment strategist at BCA Research.

Russia shrank its pipeline exports by close to 25 percent compared with a year earlier, according to the International Energy Agency. Europe’s reserves stand at just 30 percent, and Europeans are already paying exorbitant prices for energy.

The conflict is occurring when supplies of both oil and natural gas have been tight for months, driving up prices.

“There are serious concerns” that Moscow will tighten exports further and send prices higher, said Helima Croft, head of commodities at RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank.

Germany, Russia’s largest trading partner in Europe, gets 55 percent of its supply from Russia. Italy, the second-biggest trading partner, gets 41 percent. At a forum in Milan last week, the Russian ambassador Sergey Razov said President Vladimir V. Putin had told the Italian prime minister, Mario Draghi, that “if Italy needs more gas we are ready to supply it.”

Mr. Putin also made a point of saying that roughly 500 Italian businesses have operations in Russia and that bilateral investments are worth $8 billion.

Austria, Turkey and France are large consumers of Russian natural gas. In central and Eastern Europe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are the biggest customers, the Russian energy giant Gazprom said.

250,000 barrels a day from Russia that move through Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. That amount is relatively small in a global market that consumes 100 million barrels a day, but its loss could create severe shortages in those countries.

dizzying spikes in prices for energy and food and could spook investors. The economic damage from supply disruptions and economic sanctions would be severe in some countries and industries and unnoticed in others.

The money that Russia makes from energy exports could also be reduced if shippers, wary of the growing complexity of transporting Russian crude and supplies, raise what they charge Moscow, Mr. Goldwyn said.

He added it was possible that the White House would ban imports of Russian crude to the United States. Such a move, experts said, would force American refiners to rely on other suppliers and Moscow to find other buyers for around 700,000 barrels a day. China would most likely be one, after the two countries pledged to “strongly support each other.”

Flows of L.N.G. from elsewhere, mostly the United States, have exceeded Russian gas volumes to Europe in recent weeks. Such measures would probably help Western European countries like Germany and Italy more than those in southern and Eastern Europe with fewer alternatives to Russian gas.

Even without a clear cutoff of fuel by Moscow or a disruption by war, there is a substantial risk that extraordinarily high gas and electricity prices will continue, squeezing hard-pressed consumers and, possibly, pushing more businesses to scale back their operations. In recent months, some energy-intensive businesses, including fertilizer makers, have announced closures because of high gas costs.

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