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Diplomatic Attempts in Europe Advance as Russia and U.S. Agree to Summit, FTSE Drops & Oil Prices Climb

Gold above $1,900 as Biden/Putin “agree” to summit

Gold prices rose to their highest level in almost 8-months, as President Biden, and Putin reportedly agreed to a summit to discuss the tensions in Ukraine.

The reports come from the office of French President Emmanuel Macron, who pitched both leaders on the idea of meeting to discuss “security and strategic stability in Europe.

According to officials from the White House, President Biden has tentatively agreed to the summit, providing Russia does not invade Ukraine.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki went on to add that, “We are always ready for diplomacy, we are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences, should Russia instead choose war”.

💡 Words from the Kremlin
This of course was followed by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov undercutting both the French and American statements by saying that a summit had not been agreed, only a foreign-minister level meeting.

As the high level diplomacy continued the XAUUSD hit an intraday high of $1,910.80 on the news.

FTSE 100 lower, despite end of COVID-19 restrictions

London’s FTSE 100 started the week trading lower, despite the news that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was set to scrap covid restrictions.

This comes as the PM continues to be under significant pressure to resign, following the recent “party gate” debacle.

💡 In his comments on Monday, Johnson stated that
“The pandemic is not over but thanks to the incredible vaccine rollout we are now one step closer towards a return to normality and finally giving people back their freedoms while continuing to protect ourselves and others”.

News of this comes the day after the Queen tested positive for the virus and is currently experiencing mild symptoms. 

The FTSE 100 closed 0.39% lower on Monday.

Oil prices climb, as Iran calls for end to sanctions

Oil prices rebounded on Monday, as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for the U.S. government to lift sanctions on his nation.

The call comes as the United States and Iran continue to engage in discussions over the 2015 deal, however President Raisi sees the current sanctions as a major sticking point.

💡 The history behind the sanctions
U.S. economic sanctions are administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), an agency of the US Treasury Department. Currently, US sanctions against Iran include an embargo on dealings with the country by the U.S., and a ban on selling aircraft and repair parts to Iranian aviation companies.

Speaking during a press conference, he stated that, “The United States must prove its will to lift major sanctions”.

Raisi went on to add that, “To reach an agreement, guarantees are necessary for negotiations and nuclear issues”.

WTI crude rose $4 to an intraday high of $94.52 on the news.

“Amateurs think about how much money they can make. Professionals think about how much money they could lose.”

–Jack Schwager.

Eliman Dambell

Senior Market Analyst