Stocks dive, oil surges as Russia attacks Ukraine

Global stocks and U.S. bond yields dived on Thursday, while the dollar, gold and oil prices rocketed higher as Russian forces fired missiles at several Ukrainian cities and landed troops on its south coast.

Shortly after President Vladimir Putin said he had authorised what he called a special military operation, explosions could be heard in the pre-dawn quiet of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv and the Ukraine government accused Moscow of launching a full-scale invasion.

The United States and its allies will impose “severe sanctions” on Russia after the attacks, U.S. President Joe Biden said.

The equities rout in Asia looked set to continue in Europe and the United States, with a sharp jump in commodity prices adding to worries about inflation and risks to economic growth.

The Euro Stoxx 50 futures and German DAX futures were down more than 3.5% in early deals, while FTSE futures were 2% lower.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.3% and Nasdaq futures fell 2.8%, putting the U.S. index on track toward confirming it is in a bear market.

Closing down at least 20% from its Nov. 19 record high close of 16,057.437 points would confirm the Nasdaq has been in a bear market, according to a widely used definition. That would mark its first bear market since 2020, when the coronavirus outbreak crushed global financial markets.

The Moscow Exchange announced a suspension of all trading on Thursday.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell more than 3.2% to its lowest level since November 2020. Australian shares shed more than 3% and Chinese blue chips lost 2%.

The FTSE MIB climbed down  by 0.34% to 25,955.20. In the cash markets, the DAX  Germany was trading  down by 0.42%  to 14,631.65. CAC 40  in France  fell by 0.10% to 6,780.37 while the FTSE 100  in the U.K. was  up by 0.05% to 7,498.35 ,at the time of writing.

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