European Markets Trade Mixed on Accusations that Russian Troops Have Entered Ukraine

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Stock Market Trading

: 29 August 2014

European equities are set to open mixed as traders struggle to asses the flare up in Ukraine.

There are accusations that the Russian military has been crossing into Ukraine despite rebuttals from the Kremlin about lost paratroopers and vacationing Russian regulars.

Although CFD markets have traded a touch weaker over the last couple of sessions, they aren't reacting as though this is a full territorial invasion.

As long as the media keeps portraying it as an 'incursion' traders may shrug off the situation in Ukraine as a limited, contained conflict.

However, it seems that Russia has persistently and consistently escalated the conflict but with no clear end objective.

Traders will have to mull over how far into Ukraine Russia is intending to incur and if that point is beyond the West/NATO's tolerance.

US stocks initially tumbled on the news that a third front in the fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels had opened up.

Later on US retail earnings also disappointed the global markets, accelerating the slump.

However, the GDP data came in better-than-expected, reversing the daily trend towards the close.

So the Dow Jones ended rather flat around 17,114.

Stock Market Trading

: 28 August 2014

European stocks are set to edge lower as concern brews that traders have gotten ahead of the curve on ECB stimulus and that fighting in Ukraine is flaring up again.

Comments from German Finance Minister Scheuble that Draghi's speech had been misread by the market, and that further action was off the cards bar a disastrous August inflation reading, stirred fears that this was all just another example of Draghi's verbal easing trick.

Investors are fast becoming wise to that one and it won't be so easy to dangle the carrot of 'what ever it takes' in front of markets to jump-start the European economy.

Also keeping recent bullish sentiment in check is the alleged Russian-led offensive in Ukraine.

With reports of tanks, artillery and infantry flooding across the border, the Ukrainian army have been put on the back foot.

Given that Russian para-troopers have been supposedly wandering 20km across the border by accident, some are suggesting that Putin cannot be bothered hiding his intentions anymore.

After reaching all-time highs in the previous session, the Wall Street index stopped for a breather yesterday.

Some investors were quick to take profits off the table, pushing the US index 12 points lower to 17,112.

However, the fact that the intraday pullback was followed by a rally towards the close shows that the bulls remain in control for now.

Stock Market Trading

: 27 August 2014

European equities are set to open modestly lower as we take a small breather.

However, the bulls remain firmly in control as they believe that Draghi is in their corner warming up the printing presses.

Unlike US markets, the major European indices are still a fair distance from their all-time highs, but with the ECB apparently about to provide the ultimate economic backstop, traders have got something to aim for.

The economic data out of Europe certainly warrants some super stimulus and it has been encouraging for the bulls that Draghi acknowledges the fact, but could they be getting ahead of themselves?

Remember, this is a man that has being saying he will do whatever it takes for just over 2 years.

There's an impression that printed money will be entering the system imminently, but if the ECB has a different timing expectation, or if this turns about to be another 'verbal easing bluff', then we could see stocks turn sour on the whole affair.

Yesterday's massive jump in durable goods orders, which tripled the estimates, sparked a sharp rise in US equities.

Shortly after, consumer confidence data also came in stronger than expected and accelerated the rally.

This saw the Dow Jones continue its advance, reaching a fresh all-time intraday high and closing 50 points higher at 17,122.5.

Stock Market Trading

: 26 August 2014

The FTSE is set to rally this morning as it looks to catch-up on the strong gains seen during its bank holiday absence, though most European indices are expected to ease modestly.

The bulls were pretty quick out of the gates yesterday, having been imbued by Draghi's dovish comments on Friday night.

After years of middling reactive efforts to kick start the European economy, traders were glad to see an admission that they weren't working and that the ECB needed to go on the offensive.

Traders were particularly glad to hear the part where he said that the risks of doing too little outweigh the risks of doing too much, leading some to believe that a whole artillery battery of stimulus is on its way rather than just a bazooka.

As a result, US equities posted a sharp rally, with the S&P 500 reaching the 2000 mark for the first time ever and the Dow Jones gaining 66 points to 17,078.

However, geopolitical tensions have raised their head again and may temper any irrational exuberance, with US markets shedding ground in the afternoon and Asian markets dipping into the red.

Claims of Russian military incursions into the Ukraine continue and now President Petro Poroshenko has raised instability by dissolving parliament and calling early elections.

There are also concerns that the West is being drawn into a wider Middle East conflict, with reports that the US will send reconnaissance flights over Syria, possibly laying the path for air strikes.

If that wasn't enough, it appears that Egypt and the UAE have taken the initiative and been bombing extremists in Libya to the West's dismay.

By Jonathan Sudaria, 29 August 2014

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