Update: it just got interesting:
- RASMUSSEN ASKS RUSSIA TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM UKRAINE BORDER
- RASMUSSEN SAYS RUSSIA RESUPPLIED MATERIALS TO SEPARATISTS
- RUSSIA CROSSED UKRAINE BORDER LAST NIGHT, RASMUSSEN SAYS
- NATO SEES CONTINUOUS FLOW OF RUSSIAN WEAPONS INTO UKRAINE
And now, we await tweets of more de-escalation while Putin is laughing, even as the world officially enters Cold War 2.0:
- NATO COUNTRIES MUST GRADUALLY RAISE DEFENSE SPENDING: RASMUSSEN
... first for conventional weapons, then for tactical and strategic ICBMs?
* * *
"Remember when"... US futures soared by over 60 point in 5 trading days on what was the tiniest hint that Putin may be de-escalating based on a Russian media report citing the "good cop" Russian security council? Well, NATO disagrees with the momentum chasing algos, and this odd spin coming out of Russia. Moments ago NATO said that Russia, while calling for de-escalation of the Ukraine conflict, had in fact been escalating it.
Reuters cites NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu who said the alliance was checking eyewitness reports in two British newspapers on Friday that a column of at least 23 Russian military vehicles had crossed into Ukraine overnight.
"If confirmed, they are further evidence that Russia is doing the very opposite of what it's saying. Russia has been escalating the conflict, even as it calls for de-escalation," she said in response to a question from Reuters.
"It is high time that Russia did what it says it wants to do, which is to contribute to a peaceful solution. Russia needs to pull back its troops, stop the flow of arms and fighters over the border with Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists and engage in a genuine and sincere dialogue with Ukraine."
Of course, this report would have been conveniently delayed until after close of trading if the market still cared about geopolitics, as this headline would have rejected the very basis of the rally over the past week. However, at this point, all that matters are pin points and technical charts ahead of today's Op-Ex; in fact the more cynical ones may claim that the zero-volume rally was nothing but yet another manipulation attempt to inflict max pain on the recent surge of protection buyers. But that would be illegal, so clearly the reason for today's ongoing ramp is the "market" simply reverting to its now standar mode of refusing to react to any headline that does not justify groupthink.