LONDON – An easing of tensions in Ukraine combined with subdued Chinese inflation figures to help stock markets around the world enjoy one of their best days in a while.
For weeks, markets have been roiled by a raft of geopolitical concerns, more often than not centered on the crisis in Ukraine.
U.S. markets were poised for further gains at the open too, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4 percent. On Friday, the Dow added 1.1 percent and the S&P was up 1.2 percent as fears of a Russian invasion of western Ukraine eased amid signs the country’s military drills were ending.
Though fears of a Russian invasion have eased, geopolitical concerns remain not least with regard to Iraq, where U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State militants near the northern city of Irbil, capital of the Kurdish region, in hopes of limiting their advance and keeping them away from oil fields.
That gives the central bank room to ease access to credit if needed to shore up economic growth, which was 7.5 percent in the latest quarter. That would lower the cost of financing for stock trading, helping to support markets.