Wind of panic on the financial markets after the Russian offensive in Ukraine

All global markets are in a storm. European equity markets had one of the worst sessions since March 2020.

Black Thursday in the markets. European equity markets experienced one of the worst sessions since March 2020. Paris closed sharply down 3.83%, Frankfurt 3.96% and Milan 4.10%. London fell 3.82% while the Moscow Stock Exchange fell more than 30%. At around 12:05 GMT, the Eurostoxx 50 European benchmark index fell 3.79%. Previously, Hong Kong also lost 3.21%. Surprised by the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the New York Stock Exchange opened sharply as investors moved away from the equity markets. Around 2:50 pm GMT, the Dow Jones lost 2.31%, the Nasdaq index, with a strong tech composition, 1.79%, while the broader S&P 500 index fell 1, 89%.

All world markets are in a storm, with European equity markets losing up to 5% mid-day as the European Union prepares a new sanctions package which is the “most difficult ever implemented“, According to his head of diplomacy.

The price of a barrel of oil has exceeded $ 100, for both the US and North Sea barrels. Aluminum and grain also broke records. “It is panic in the markets“Summarizes Ipek Ozkardeskaya, analyst of the SwissQuote investment firm.

On Thursday night, Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine, with air strikes and the entry of ground forces from multiple directions, Ukrainian authorities reported hours after an initial assessment of some fifty dead, including a dozen civilians. The offensive has caused an international outcry to which Moscow remains deaf.

Massive sales of shares, purchases of gold (+ 2.84% to $ 1,963 an ounce) and government bonds “,with this flare-up of international tensions, the race for safe havens is underwaysays Susannah Streeter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. The yield on US 10-year debt fell to 1.87% from 1.99% on Wednesday.

Raw materials are on fire

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine lead both to a possible demand shock (for Europe) and, above all, to a much larger supply shock for the rest of the world, given the importance of Russia and Ukraine for the energy and raw materialssaid Tapas Strickland of the National Bank of Australia.

The price of a barrel of North Sea Brent oil jumped 8.42% to $ 104.99 and that of a barrel of US WTI delivered in April jumped 7.96% to $ 99.46. peak since 2014. On the natural gas side, the reference market in Europe exploded by 32% compared to the previous day. The price of aluminum has also reached a new record.

Cereal prices also jumped on the European market, with an unprecedented peak for wheat at 344 euros per ton, up 15.68%. “The surge in energy prices is a big headache for Europe, as 40% of its natural gas and 30% of its oil come from Russia»Explains a Swissquote analyst. Mining groups strongly linked to Russia collapsed in London: Polymetal collapsed by 35.64%, Evraz by 27.24% and Petropavlovsk by 24.45%.

Banks penalized

Banks and the financial sector have been targeted by the first sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States. In Moscow, Sberbank fell by 48.30%, VTB Bank by 41.60%. In Vienna, Raiffeisen lost 18.94%.

In Paris, Société Générale, present in Russia through Rosbank, lost 10.44%. In Milan, UniCredit loses more than 11.84%, sanctioned for its exposure to Russia, and Intesa Sanpaolo, falls by 8.18%.

Fall of the ruble, jump of the dollar

After an all-time low of 90 rubles per dollar, the currency fell 2.29% around 12:00 GMT, following the intervention of the Russian central bank at “stabilize the situation“The dollar, considered a safe haven, gained 1.16% against the European currency, to 0.8951 euros for one dollar, the highest since June 2020. Bitcoin for its part fell by 5.79% to 35,370 dollars.

Collateral victims

The sell-off hit the shares of companies with a strong presence in Russia even more. In Frankfurt, the Uniper energy group, connected to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, returned 15.69%. The Metro wholesale chain, which has around 100 stores in Russia, is down by 6%.

SEE ALSO – Ukraine: “Economic sanctions will not be enough, more will be needed“Says General Jérôme Pellistrandi

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