While a full-blown crisis was averted, analysts said the aborted uprising by Wagner mercenaries showed President Vladimir Putin's grip on power was more fragile than thought
London (AFP) - The ruble reached a 14-month low againt the dollar on Monday but US and European stock markets steadied after a short-lived mutiny in Russia stoked concerns about the nuclear-armed country’s stability.
While the advance by the Wagner mercenary force led by Yevgeny Prigozhin was called off before it reached Moscow, analysts said the rebellion showed President Vladimir Putin’s grip on power was more fragile than previously thought.
But unease on trading floors appeared to lift as Wall Street opened up 0.2 percent while European markets edged higher after starting the day in the red.
Asian markets finished lower.
The ruble hit 85.37 to the dollar – a level last seen in April 2022 shortly after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine – but the Russian currency recovered slightly later.
Oil prices rose slightly as Russia is a major producer.
Moscow made an effort on Monday to portray a return to business as usual, and Putin praised industry for overcoming “severe external challenges” in a video speech to a youth engineering forum.
Markets were taking a “tread carefully” approach at the start of the week, said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.
Prior to the revolt in Russia, traders worried about slowing growth in major economies and the prospect of further interest rate hikes by Western central banks battling high inflation.
“Investors are now also having to factor in the chance of escalation on the geopolitical side of things, which is adding another layer of uncertainty to the equation,” Waterer said.
- Rate concerns -
Investors were keeping tabs on comments from Federal Reserve officials, hoping for clarity on their monetary policy plans after boss Jerome Powell last week warned interest rates would likely keep rising.
His comments dealt a blow to hopes the bank had come to the end of its tightening cycle, and came as authorities elsewhere announced further hikes.
There is a growing worry among investors that the tightening cycle around the world could hammer the global economy, with the eurozone already in recession.
A survey Monday showed German business sentiment fell more than expected in June, as the clouds gathered over Europe’s largest economy, also in recession.
The Ifo institute’s confidence barometer, based on a survey of 9,000 companies, fell for the second month in a row.
- Key figures around 1330 GMT -
New York - Dow: UP 0.2 percent at 33,792.01
London - FTSE 100: FLAT at 7,465.50 points
Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.2 percent at 15,858.00
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.1 percent at 7,202.59
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.5 percent at 4,293.89
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.3 percent at 32,698.81 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 0.5 percent at 18,794.13 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 1.5 percent at 3,150.62 (close)
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0910 from $1.0896 on Friday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2706 from $1.2717
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 143.44 from 143.74 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 85.88 pence from 85.66 pence
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.5 percent at $74.39 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.4 percent at $69.53 per barrel