Markets rally after Russia says some troops are returning to base following drills near Ukraine

February 15, 2022, 11:05 AM UTC

European stocks and U.S. futures jumped on Tuesday morning after Russian media reports said that the government had ordered the pullback of some troops that had been doing drills near the Ukraine border.

The prospect of a Russian invasion has walloped global stock markets in recent days, sending risk-assets lower across the board and driving up the price of crude, commodities, and safe-haven gold.

At 5.20 a.m. ET, the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was up nearly 1% with the bourses in Italy and Germany, two countries that are highly reliant upon Russian energy, up even higher. Over in Moscow, the MOEX Russian index jumped nearly 3.5%, and the Russian ruble rallied against the dollar on the report of troop movements away from the border.

U.S. futures, too, rallied on the news, with the blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average and tech-heavy Nasdaq poised to open the trading session up higher by as much as 1%.

The news proved to be a jolt for cryptocurrencies too. Bitcoin is trading above $44,000, a near 5% gain in the past two days.

Even as investors welcomed the news, Ukraine and European officials played down the significance. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, told Interfax Ukraine that Kyiv needed to see a full-scale pullback of troops before it could trust Russia’s intentions not to attack. “If we see a withdrawal, we will believe in a de-escalation,” Kuleba was quoted by the news agency as saying.

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