Saturday, April 1

Live updates on the ‘all-out economic and financial war’ against Russia

Check here to find out how the crisis is impacting markets, Canadian businesses and the financial world

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked unprecedented economic retaliation as western nations pile on sanctions in what France has called “all-out economic and financial war.”


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To get the latest news on the conflict and how it is affecting markets, businesses and the economy, watch here.

11:02 am

IEA members open their oil reserves

Members states of the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed today to release 60 million barrels from oil reserves, as the US and its allies seek to cool oil prices soaring from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Half the volume will come from the United States, Japan’s industry minister Koichi Hagiuda told reporters after the extraordinary ministerial meeting of the 31 members of the IEA, which represents mostly industrialized nations.

“We have agreed that IEA (members) as a whole will make a coordinated oil release of 60 million barrels in total,” Hagiuda told reporters.


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Oil markets were unmoved by the news, with Brent crude rising above US$106 a barrel – its highest since 2014.

10:57 am

Not everybody is pleased with the pace of Canada’s actions against Russia. This from the former foreign affairs and trade adviser to Stephen Harper.


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10:44 am

Canada has just announced another $100 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

“The lives of the children of Ukraine have been thrown into chaos. Their classrooms have been replaced by bomb shelters. Their playgrounds have become battlefields. Their beds have become the hard ground,” Minister of international development Harjit S. Sajjan said in a press release today. “We will continue to be there for our Ukrainian friends and partners during this difficult time.”

The money will help provide emergency health services (including trauma care), protection, support to displaced populations and life-saving services such as shelter, water and sanitation, and food.

10:05 am

No quick fix to Europe’s energy crisis — not even from Canada


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There appears to be no easy solution to Europe’s skyrocketing energy costs.

Right now, there’s geopolitical risk to the oil market but it’s not yet reached a point where production has slowed and barrels have come offline, said an energy director at RBC Capital Markets. Still, tensions in Ukraine have caused oil prices to surge, recently pushing past US$100 a barrel.

“Let me be clear here: I think the oil market fundamental backdrop is perhaps the most bullish that I have seen in my career,” Michael Tran, managing director of global energy strategy at RBC Capital Markets, said in an interview with Larysa Harapyn.

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Tran also noted that Europe, which is one of Russia’s biggest customers for oil, could struggle in trying to find alternative supplies of energy and natural gas. Getting help from Canada could prove difficult because “we just don’t have large-scale export capacity pointed in the right direction.


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Europe has been bolstering its green supply of energy, but the recent conflict on the heels of supply-chain strain from late last year show that there’s still too much friction to be fully self-reliant on green energy.

As the chart below shows the Russian conflict is not likely to impact Canada’s energy supply as less than one per cent of our energy imports come from the country.

— Bianca Bharti

9:41 am

‘We will cause the collapse of the Russian economy’

France declared an “all-out economic and financial war” against Russia today as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.

Canada, the United States and allies have imposed sanctions on Russia’s central bank, oligarchs and officials, including President Vladimir Putin himself, and barred some Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system.


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French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire described the sanctions packages as proving “extremely effective.”

“We’re waging an all-out economic and financial war on Russia,” Le Maire told France Info radio. “We will cause the collapse of the Russian economy.”

In a matter of weeks, Russia has turned from a lucrative bet on surging oil prices to an uninvestable market with a central bank hamstrung by sanctions, major banks shut out of the international payments system and capital controls choking off money flows.

Today Russia said it was placing temporary curbs on foreigners seeking to exit Russian assets, putting the brakes on an accelerating investor exodus driven by the sanctions.

Le Maire’s remarks drew an angry riposte from Russia’s former president and prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, who is now the deputy Chair of the Security Council of the Russian Federation.


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9:38 am

North American stocks opened lower today with bank stocks declining further as the Russia-Ukraine crisis deepened, while a surge in oil prices boosted shares of energy companies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 79.12 points, or 0.23 per cent, at the open to 33,813.48.
The S&P 500 opened lower by 10.80 points, or 0.25 per cent, at 4,363.14, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 34.70 points, or 0.25 per cent, to 13,716.70 at the opening bell.

The TSX was up 64.60 points or 0.31 per cent to 21,190.96

Additional reporting by Reuters and Bloomberg



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