Months of geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine have mounted to a pitch as governments around the world begin taking action. The US relocated its embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv to the western city of Lviv in response to the “dramatic acceleration” of buildup in Russian forces on Ukraine’s border. In addition, UK foreign minister Liz Truss has said that Russia could “invade at any moment” according to London’s latest intelligence. There are now an estimated 100 000 Russian soldiers stationed around Ukraine’s borders. Much of the west, has threatened to impose sanctions should Russia invade. Uncertainty around the hostility has caused the price of oil and natural gas to spike in recent weeks. At the same time, investors are moving increasingly towards safe-haven assets.
Weak earnings season among high-growth tech stocks
After a slew of strong earnings reports from tech giants including Microsoft and Amazon, a second wave of weak numbers from tech companies including Roblox and Palantir have seen these high growth stocks plummet. Analytics software developer Palantir Technologies saw its already-falling stock plunge over 15% in response to an earnings result of 2 cents per share on an adjusted basis at $433 million revenue – inches away from analyst estimates of 4 cents a share on revenue of $418 million. Meanwhile, streaming platform Roku saw its worst day since 2018 after the company posted fourth-quarter revenue of $865.3 million, short of analysts’ estimate of $894 million. Gaming company Roblox also saw its shares fall 26% after reporting a loss of 25 cents a share on fourth-quarter revenue of $770 million, below the expected $772 million and loss of 13 cents per share.
Intel to buy Tower Semiconductor for $5.4 billion
In a bid to boost its ability to meet the massive global chip demand, Intel has bought Israeli semiconductor maker Tower Semiconductor. The acquisition will give intel a stronger presence in speciality technologies that Tower is known for, including industrial sensors. Intel has also said that Tower’s existing production facilities are “geographically complementary,” with a presence in the U.S. and Asia. In January, Intel announced a $100 billion investment into creating the world’s largest semiconductor production complex.