European markets muted as Russia-Ukraine pressure continues

LONDON — European stocks were little changed on Monday as pressure from the Russia-Ukraine war continues to weigh on global sentiment.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 0.1% lower in early trade, with tech stocks shedding 0.8% while oil and gas gained 0.8%.

Global markets continue to be roiled by events in Ukraine as the war continues. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned at the weekend that if peace talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin fail, it would mean the start of a third global war.

“If these attempts fail, that would mean that this is a third world war,” Zelenskyy said in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that aired Sunday morning.

Ukrainian and Russian officials have met intermittently for peace talks, which have failed to progress to key concessions.

Investors are also evaluating a rise in Covid-19 cases in Europe stemming from an emerging subvariant of the omicron strain of the virus.

U.S. stock futures were steady in overnight trading after the S&P 500′s best week since 2020 while shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday morning trade, as investors reacted to the release of China’s latest benchmark lending rate.

Oil prices were also higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 3.7% to $111.92 per barrel. U.S. crude futures climbed 4% to $108.91 per barrel.

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— CNBC’s Maggie Fitzgerald and Eustance Huang contributed to this report.


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