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Market Outlook Special: Energy prices soar as the Ukraine war continues

It is easy to understand why global financial markets were gloomy last week. The Stoxx Europe 600 share price index dropped by 7.0% between February 25 and March 4, while the Swedish All-Share Index (OMXSPI) lost 6.1%. In the United States, the S&P 500 index declined by 1.3%. Ten-year US Treasury yields fell to 1.71% early this week but have rebounded to around 1.85%.

The world

Oil and gas prices reach new highs

As new sanctions have been imposed against Russia due to that country’s invasion of Ukraine, already elevated European energy prices have soared to new highs, with natural gas prices reaching all-time records.

During the coming six months or so, gas prices will be 11–12 times higher than they were in 2019, and electricity prices in Germany are roughly 10 times higher.

The price of Brent crude oil is around USD 126 per barrel. Fixed-price contracts, probable tax cuts and government subsidies might help to ease price increases at consumer level or at least delay their impact.

The United States

Last week’s US jobs report was positive

On Friday, March 4, the US labour market report for February was published. Unemployment fell to 3.8% while job creation substantially exceeded market expectations.

American inflation figures are due on March 10

On Thursday (tomorrow), US inflation figures for February will be released. We expect inflation to remain high since there are no indications of any incipient slowdown. It remains to be seen how this situation will affect the US Federal Reserve’s key interest rate decision next week, to be announced on March 16.

March 4 - Extra Market Update: Escalating war is causing market turbulence

In case you missed our Extra Market Update last Friday, you will find it here.

Our market view

We are replacing our customary market view text this week with the following two webcasts, both in English:


Market update in light of the Ukraine war, featuring investment strategist Johan Hagbarth and chief investment officer Fredrik Öberg (12 min)

Watch the video (12 min)


Commodities update, with Johan Hagbarth and chief commodities market analyst Bjarne Schieldrop (13 min)

Watch the video (13 min)