So, with sanctions now in play, it all comes down to what Russia has planned next for Ukraine.

If it is just some posturing before the inevitable dying down of tensions, then we have perhaps escaped peak fear in markets already.

As much as I would like to believe that equities can produce a strong relief rally, that may be hard to come by with the focus in the weeks ahead turning to the Fed. Surging inflation pressures globally and central bank tightening are still two key factors that should weigh on stocks or at least curb any major optimism.

As such, I reckon gold shorts and longs on yen pairs are perhaps more attractive opportunities. The more hawkish RBNZ tilt earlier has seen NZD/JPY run into resistance from its 200-day moving average @ 77.90 so that will be one to watch. A break above that and the 100-day moving average nearby @ 78.34 will likely see gains extend further for the pair.

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