By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - European stock markets traded higher Monday, as investors monitor developments in the war between Ukraine and Russia with peace talks set to take place in Turkey this week.
Ukrainian and Russian negotiators will meet in Turkey later Monday to kick off a fresh round of in-person peace talks amid optimism that the positions of the two sides are drawing nearer.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address to his country on Sunday that his government would prioritize the "territorial integrity" of Ukraine, but hopes are rising that a compromise over the status of the eastern Donbas region could be reached as part of a peace deal.
The war in Ukraine is now entering its second month and Russia has failed to seize any major Ukrainian city and risks being drawn into guerrilla warfare, something Moscow would be keen to avoid, given previous difficulties in Afghanistan.
In corporate news, Ted Baker (LON: TED ) stock fell 4.6% after the fashion retailer rejected unsolicited non-binding takeover proposals from private equity firm Sycamore Partners Management.
Heineken (OTC: HEINY ) (AS: HEIN ) stock fell 1% after the Dutch brewing giant said it has decided to exit its business in Russia, after previously saying it would halt new investments and exports there.
Orsted (OTC: DNNGY ) (CSE: ORSTED ) stock fell 1% after the Danish power company agreed to sell half of the Hornsea 2 project in Britain, which will become the world's biggest offshore wind farm, to a French consortium for 3 billion pounds ($3.94 billion).
Daimler Truck (OTC: DDAIF ) (DE: DTGGe ) stock rose 1.7% after the Financial Times reported on Sunday that the company's chief executive said electric truck costs would "forever be higher" than those using combustion engines.
The economic data slate is largely empty in Europe Monday, with most attention on the monthly U.S. employment report due at the end of the week as this could help markets get a sense of whether the Fed’s roadmap for rate hikes is realistic.
Oil prices slumped Monday on fears of reduced demand from China, the world’s largest crude importer, as a surge in COVID-19 cases prompted the country’s officials to instigate a two-stage lockdown at its financial hub of Shanghai.
All firms and factories in Shanghai would suspend manufacturing or have people work remotely in a two-stage lockdown, closing half the city in turns, over nine days. Public transport, including ride-hailing services, will also be suspended.
Oil is still heading for a fourth monthly gain after Russia, the world's second-largest crude exporter, invaded Ukraine, prompting fears of disruptions to global supplies, driving prices above $100 a barrel.
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