UK and European equities were attempting to stage a rebound early Tuesday, despite traumatic scenes in Ukraine and soaring commodities prices, which were stoking existing concerns about the damage that inflation will cause to global economic rebound.

However, markets and the situation in Ukraine remained volatile.

‘We would now highlight that it is in both Putin's and Russia's interest for the war to be stopped. The timing of such a move is necessarily uncertain but we believe investors should be on guard for Putin abruptly standing down Russian forces in Ukraine,’ commented Alastair George, chief investment strategist at research house Edison.

‘This would lead to a rapid reversal of negative sentiment towards risk assets and significant falls in energy and food prices. With implied volatility in European equity markets already matching the highs of March 2020, it is already too late to 'panic-sell', in our view.’

The Russian military said on Tuesday that it has enforced a new ceasefire in Ukraine and opened ‘humanitarian corridors’ in five cities. In the capital Kiev as well as in the major cities of Chernihiv, Sumy, Kharkiv and the particularly embattled port city of Mariupol, people should be able to get to safety. The ceasefire came into effect at 0700 GMT, the Defence Ministry in Moscow said.

The cessation of fighting is considered a prerequisite for the functioning of escape corridors in the embattled cities. One focus is the port city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, which is currently besieged by Russian forces.

Early Tuesday in London, the FTSE 100 index was up 24.85 points, or 0.3%, at 6,984.33. The mid-cap FTSE 250 index was up 210.03 points, or 1.1%, at 19,379.81. The AIM All-Share index was up 4.50 points, or 0.5%, at 962.65.

The Cboe UK 100 index was up 0.4% at 697.97. The Cboe 250 was up 1.4% at 17,070.11, and the Cboe Small Companies up 0.5% at 14,000.81.

In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 2.1% and the DAX 40 in Frankfurt up 1.3%.

The rally in Europe was being staged despite a tumble by Wall Street overnight and a negative lead from Asia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.4% on Monday, the S&P 500 down 3.0%, and the Nasdaq Composite down 3.6%.

In Asia on Tuesday, the Japanese Nikkei 225 index closed down 1.7%. In China, the Shanghai Composite ended 2.4% lower and the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong down 1.4%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.8%.

Brent oil was quoted at $125.77 a barrel on Tuesday morning in London, up from $123.22 late Monday, to where the price had retreated after having neared a 14-year high of $140.

London's oil majors Shell and BP advanced 6.9% and 4.1%, respectively.

Gold stood at $2,001.70 early Tuesday, sliding back from nearly hitting $2,020 earlier in the session, but the safe-haven metal remains up from $1,978.34 late Monday.

Pushing the FTSE 100 into the green was Russian-linked miners Evraz and Polymetal International, surging 63% and 13% respectively. Despite their strong recovery over the past few days, Evraz is still down 84% in 2021 and Polymetal 85%.

Mid-cap gold miner Petropavlovsk, which also has operations in Russia, was up 81%.

Fresnillo gained 4.3%. The Mexican precious metals miner said it was able to produce silver just below guidance in 2021, but gold production was ahead. That, together with higher prices, resulted in a rise in annual revenue.

For 2021, pretax profit improved 11% to $611.5 million from $551.3 million, as revenue grew to $2.70 billion from $2.43 billion.

Silver production was flat on the year before at 53,095 ounces, while gold production slipped 2.4% to 751,203 ounces.

Fresnillo declared total dividends for 2021 of 33.9 US cents, up 31% from 25.8 cents in 2020.

Chief Executive Octavio Alvidrez said: ‘Looking ahead we remain alert to potential on-going challenges that are outside our control, not least possible further regulatory reform, inflationary pressures and of course the threat of new covid variants. Lower production and recovery rates at Herradura and the continuing workforce shortages at Saucito caused by the new labour reform - as well as the impact of recent geotechnical instability in the Saucito area - are also likely to add to the pressures we may face in 2022.

‘In addition, the extension to the timeline for the tie-in to the national grid of both the Juanicipio plant and the Pyrites plant mean that we now expect lower contributions than previously anticipated from these operations during 2022.’

M&G was 9.8% higher as it said it has delivered on all its demerger commitments, allowing it to unveil a new £500 million share buyback.

The wealth manager said the buyback will begin shortly.

M&G ended 2021 with £370.0 billion in assets under management & administration versus £367.2 billion at the same point the year prior.

Its Asset Management unit booked £2.0 billion in net inflows, resulting in AuMA to rise to £156.7 billion from £144.4 billion. Its Retail & Savings unit, however, recorded £8.3 billion in net outflows following a £9.6 billion asset transfer to Rothesay Life PLC as part of the firm's Heritage business run-off. Retail & Savings AuMA fell to £211.1 billion from £221.6 billion.

Excluding its Heritage sell-off, net client inflows were £600 million in 2021.

M&G declared total dividends of 18.3 pence in 2021, up slightly from 18.2p in 2020.

High street bakery chain Greggs does not expect ‘material profit progression’ in 2022 as it faces cost pressures ‘more significant’ than initial expectations.

Greggs shares were down 9.4% early Tuesday.

‘Despite these near-term pressures, we continue to believe that the opportunities for Greggs have never been more exciting. Our investment over recent years has left the business well-placed to move quickly as the economy recovers and we drive our ambitious plans to become a larger, multi-channel business,’ Chief Executive Roger Whiteside said.

For 2021, Greggs swung to a pretax profit of £145.6 million compared to the £13.7 million loss seen in 2020.

Revenue surged to £1.23 billion from £811.3 million in 2020 and were up from 2019's revenue of £1.17 billion, which was pre-pandemic.

Greggs declared a total dividend of 57.0p, after withholding its shareholder payout in 2020.

In first nine weeks of 2022, like-for-like sales in company-managed shops are up 3.7% compared to the same period in 2020, and up a sharp 44% against the lockdown-affected period in 2021.

Whiteside added: ‘In a second year dominated by disruption due to Covid, our teams once again coped magnificently with unprecedented and rapidly-changing conditions. We set out at the beginning of the year to show that we could not only cope with Covid but emerge from this crisis both stronger and better as a business. Our results and achievements in 2021 show that we achieved both those ambitions.’

Commenting on the results, Ross Hindle, an analyst at research house Third Bridge, said: ‘Overall, the UK food-to-go market remains depressed with commuter footfall stubbornly below pre-Covid levels. Despite difficult trading conditions, Greggs has been able to punch above its weight thanks to a recipe of competitive pricing, clever location strategy, and their JustEat delivery partnership.’

He added: ‘Investors will be studying how Greggs manages its cost increases, which could turn out to be double-digit, in order to protect its margins in the months ahead.’

Domino's Pizza notched up a hike in annual profit and said it expects sales growth to ramp up in 2022 despite inflation and recruitment woes.

The takeaway chain reported pretax profit of £109.7 million for the year that ended December 26, up from £98.9 million the previous year. On an underlying basis, profit rose 13% to £113.9 million as like-for-like sales rose 11%, excluding so-called split territories.

It announced plans to hand back a further £46 million to shareholders, on top of the £80 million share buyback in 2021.

But it flagged challenges with soaring cost pressures and ongoing recruitment difficulties.

The group said it would look to ‘turbocharge’ its pizza collection business, which it said would help as it battles against staffing troubles and rising wages.

The stock was down 4.8%.

The pound was quoted at $1.3123 early Tuesday, marginally soft on $1.3128 at the London equities close Monday.

The euro was priced at $1.0912, up from $1.0860. Against the yen, the dollar was trading at JP¥115.54, down slightly from JP¥115.45.

Still to come Tuesday, the economic events calendar has eurozone GDP at 1000 GMT.

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Issue Date: 08 Mar 2022