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London Markets: A volatile day in London stocks sees trades canceled for Russian miner Polymetal

Monday’s volatile swings for global markets saw shares of beaten-down Russian miner Polymetal surge more than 600% only to have the London Stock Exchange cancel the trades.

Polymetal International

shares have tumbled 85% so far this year, succumbing to pressure on Russian assets following sanctions and a global backlash against that country’s invasion of Ukraine nearly two weeks ago.

For more: Complete MarketWatch coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Monday’s action, saw shares briefly shoot to a session high of 1400 pence, before slumping back to 175 pence. The stock exchange said it canceled those trades in accordance with stock exchange rules 2120 and 3022.

The embattled company also announced that six of its board members were stepping down, effectively immediately.

“Russian companies trading on the London Stock Exchange continue to lose board members at pace as directors realize the optics of being linked to these businesses are toxic,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note to clients.

The London Stock Exchange has suspended a number of Russian companies with secondary listings, citing “ongoing deterioration of market conditions” and the need to maintain “orderly markets.” Russian stock markets were closed last week and will be shut through Tuesday.

Elsewhere, London stocks managed no mean feat on Monday, with the FTSE 100

staying in positive territory, up 0.1% to 6,997, but swinging between a low of 6,787 and 7,030.

London was kept afloat by a nearly 2% gain for BP and nearly 7% rise in Shell, as oil prices tapped levels not seen since 2008 earlier in the session and from overnight on Sunday. That was after a U.S. official said the U.S. and Europe were discussing potential sanctions on Russian oil.

“Russia is a top-five producer of palladium, diamonds, gas, oil platinum, potash, aluminum, gold, nickel and steel so any company or consumer reliant on those will be looking on nervously, while Ukraine and Russia between them account for about a third of the world’s wheat,” said Mould.

Read: Wheat continues surge toward all-time high as Russian invasion of Ukraine shuts down exports

“Any move to spurn Russian supply for any lengthy period of time could have severe ramifications for prices, especially as Western miners and oil and gas producers have not invested in a lot of fresh supply for several years,” he said.

Another big gainer in London was BAE Systems
after analysts at Berenberg reiterated a buy rating and lifted their price target to 850 pence, implying 22% upside from current levels.

“We think BAE Systems is a key name to own at a time when geopolitical uncertainty is at its highest level in decades. The outlook for defense budgets globally has improved materially following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and this has helped drive a dramatic shift in sentiment back in favor of the sector,” said George McWhirter and Ross Law, analysts at Berenberg, in a note to clients.

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