Geopolitical tensions have rocked assets from crypto to commodities this week

Geopolitical tensions have rocked assets from crypto to commodities this week

Business Insider | February 15th, 2022

Investors initially flocked to safe havens as fears escalated over the prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

However, early on Tuesday, the Russian defense ministry said it was pulling some troops away from the border with Ukraine.

It’s unclear at this point how many troops Russia plans to withdraw, but the signal was enough to flip the market back to “risk on” mode, boosting stocks and cryptocurrencies, while weighing on some of the safe-havens like gold that rallied the day before.

But the situation is volatile. Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson said a military conflict in Ukraine could unleash a “polar vortex” on the stock market.

Gold futures have lost about 1%, but are still holding near their highest for eight months, with analysts saying inflation worries have also bolstered gold’s appeal as a hedge.

The apparent easing in tensions has weighed on the oil price, however. Brent crude is still not far off $100 per barrel, trading around $93.30 a barrel, but investors have taken some heart from Russia’s sign that it may not escalate matters further.

Cryptocurrencies have bounced back, with bitcoin edging towards $45,000 again, while ether has gained almost 8% in a rally that has juiced gains in a number of altcoins, including solana and avalanche, which are both up around 10% in the last 24 hours.

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