© . A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, Feb. 28, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid A look at the day ahead in Dhara Ranasinghe’s markets. A fire in a training building near Europe’s largest nuclear power plant during intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces has been extinguished, but markets worldwide were on edge on Friday. Stock markets in Asia were a sea of red, with the MSCI index of stocks outside Japan hitting a 16-month low, falling 2.2%. European stock futures are sharply lower and Wall Street, when it opens later, looks set to join the sell-off. MSCI’s global equity benchmark is on track for a fourth straight week of losses. Also note the euro, which has been hit again by the latest developments in Ukraine. The single currency has lost nearly half a percent, reaching its lowest point since May 2020 at $1,1010. It has lost more than 2% this week and marks its worst week since April 2020. For some, a move to parity — a word that hasn’t been used for a while — against the dollar could be at stake. With currency weakness adding to the inflation headache, it may be time to look at how the European Central Bank reacts to currency weakness. Note that some economists believe headline inflation in the euro area could exceed 6% this year. The ECB’s target is 2%. US payroll data – usually the main focus for markets – seems to have almost faded into the background with markets gripped by the war in Ukraine. Economists polled by predict that the US economy created 400,000 jobs last month, after gaining 467,000 in January. That would bring employment 2.5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels. All lost jobs are expected to be made up this year, but the war in Ukraine could hurt business confidence and slow job growth in the coming months. The Federal Reserve, which appears to be rising interest rates later in March, will keep a close eye on the labor market. NFP https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/byvrjejmbve/Pasted%20image%201645660089349.png Key developments to give more direction to markets on Friday: – IAEA says ‘essential’ parts of nuclear power plant Ukraine have not been affected – Oil recovers as escalating Ukraine conflict hits inventories – Nike, IKEA close Russian stores as sanctions, trade restrictions bite – German trade/current account – Eurozone retail sales – US nonfarm payrolls Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data on this website is not necessarily real-time or accurate. All CFDs (Stocks, Indices, Futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and therefore prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price meaning prices are indicative and not suitable for trading purposes . Therefore, Fusion Media does not bear any responsibility for any trading losses that you may incur as a result of using this data. Fusion Media or anyone associated with Fusion Media accepts no liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any information, including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals on this website. Be fully informed about the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest forms of investment possible.