Mar 21, 2022 03:06 AM ET
European stock markets are expected to open weaker on Monday, with sentiment dampened by higher oil prices and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
At 3:05 AM ET, DAX futures in Germany were trading 0.8% lower; CAC 40 futures in France were down 0.8%, and FTSE 100 futures in the UK were down 0.6%.
The conflict, triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine on February 24, is entering its fifth week. Diplomatic efforts resume, and Turkey's foreign minister said on Sunday the two sides were close to an agreement on "critical" issues, but the battle resumes, particularly around the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
US President Joe Biden will arrive in Brussels on Thursday for a summit with NATO members and European Union governments to discuss their response to Russian aggression. Beforehand, the EU will discuss whether to join the United States in imposing an oil embargo on Russia.
The West has already imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow over its invasion, including freezing the assets of Russia's central bank. These measures have yet to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop fighting, and it stands to reason that the bloc will target Russian oil next.
This would be an economically difficult decision as the EU gets 40% of its gas needs from Russia, with Germany the most dependent on the bloc's major economies.
German producer prices rose again in February, up 1.4% month-on-month and 25.9% year-on-year. This brings inflation into focus for investors ahead of ECB President Christine Lagarde's speech on Monday.