Russian stock market cracks 17% as Ukraine tensions
The Russian stock market fell 17% on Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was considering recognizing the independence of east Ukraine’s two separatist republics, escalating the Ukraine crisis. The stock markets in Europe were all in the red.
The RTS index, which tracks the top 50 Russian stocks in dollar terms on the Moscow Stock Exchange, fell about 230 points, or 16.67%, to 1,160.24.
Russia has warned that there are no firm plans for a meeting between US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The US has long argued that incidents in eastern Ukraine could be used as a pretext for Moscow to launch an attack on its neighbor. A Russian invasion of Ukraine was conceivable.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index in London fell 1.2% in early trade to 7,394.82 points, while the DAX in Frankfurt fell 2% to 14,435.37 points.
On Tuesday, the Hang Seng stock recovered to gain at the end of the day, but it finished down 2.69 percent, or 650.07 points, at 23,520.00. The Shanghai Composite Index in China fell 0.96 percent, or 33.47 points, to 3,457.15.
Oil market soars after Russia move troops into Ukraine
Prices for oil are at seven-year highs, and Brent crude is rapidly approaching $100 per barrel. The global benchmark has risen 3.8 percent to $99.04 per barrel, its highest level since September 2014, while US light crude is up 5.2 percent to $95.81 per barrel.
Oil could easily break through $100 and reach $120 per barrel. Brent last traded at (or above) $100 per barrel in early September 2014.
Some companies with primary listings in Moscow have secondary listings in London to raise funds. They range from state-owned oil and gas companies Rosneft and Gazprom to state-run banks VTB and Sberbank and independent mining companies like Norilsk Nickel that are not owned by the state.
This morning, Rosneft shares fell more than 7% in London and later traded 3.7 percent lower, while Lukoil fell 6.2 percent, and Gazprom fell 8.1 percent. VTB Bank stocks fell 9.2 percent, while Sberbank fell 13 percent. Norilsk Nickel, a mining company, fell 3.5 percent.
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