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 stayed relatively steady 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.
While there was unease on trading floors, European stocks closed with small gains and losses, while on Wall Street the Dow and S&P 500 were down marginally in late morning trading.
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.
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.
Equity markets in Europe and the United States took the weekend’s attempted mutiny in Russia in stride.
“If there is concern about how events in Russia might play out the view appears to be let’s worry about it when and if it happens, rather than worry about what might happen,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
“Markets have been taking a “tread carefully” approach at the start of the week, said Tim Waterer, chief market analyst at KCM Trade.
Prior to Prigozhin’s revolt, traders worried about slowing growth in major economies and the prospect of further interest rate hikes by Western central banks battling high inflation.
Events in Russia have added “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 1530 GMT -
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 33,691.30 points
London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.1 percent at 7,453.58 (close)
Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 0.1 percent at 15,813.06 (close)
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.3 percent at 7,184.35 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.2 percent at 4,280.57 (close)
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 $1.0913 from $1.0896 on Friday
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2719 from $1.2717
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 143.48 from 143.74 yen
Euro/pound: UP at 85.80 pence from 85.66 pence
Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $73.91 per barrel
West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $69.13 per barrel