Stocks drop, oil prices jump as markets falter from Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Oil jumped to $105 a barrel, European natural gas futures rose 50 percent, and global stock indices fell on Thursday. Russia invaded Ukraineto expand the market turmoil that was driven by fears of a large-scale attack.

The impact on financial and commodity markets from Russia’s overnight attack was immediate and broad, starting with Asia, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng losing 3.2%. In Germany, the DAX is down more than 4 percent, and the broader Stoxx Europe 600 is down about 3.5 percent.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 was down 2.5 percent in early trading, before bouncing back a bit as the initial panic appeared to have abated somewhat. By mid-morning, the index was down about 1.5 percent.

The price of Brent crude, the global benchmark, has fallen from its highest level on the day but is still up more than 6 percent at around $103 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude jumped 5.5 percent to above $97 a barrel.

Gas futures contracts in the first month in the Netherlands, a European standard for natural gas, It rose by about 50 percent to over 135 euros per megawatt hour. Russia supplies more than a third of EU gas, some of which passes through pipelines in Ukraine. A year ago, gas was sold at around 15 euros per megawatt-hour.

In Moscow, stocks collapsed and the ruble fell to a record low against the dollar. The Russian stock index MOEX fell by 30 percent. The Russian Stock Exchange briefly suspended trading earlier today.

The mood in global markets has been broadly tense in recent days as tensions mount over Ukraine. The invasion—and sanctions against Russia as a result of it—could have broad implications for commodities, including oil, natural gas, wheat, and minerals. Europe is highly dependent on Russia for energy, and parts of the Middle East and Africa receive most of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine. Even if supply chains remain intact and Russian exports are not affected by the sanctions, there are concerns that Mr. Putin may punitively cut supplies.

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Few of Russia’s exports go directly to the United States, but turmoil anywhere could raise prices, prolonging inflation that has already run longer than officials expected. The Federal Reserve has indicated that it is preparing to raise interest rates, with the goal of slowing inflation by slowing spending, and giving supply time to catch up. But higher rates will also dampen growth, and doing so while markets are already down risks prolonging deflation.

As the heavy financial sanctions against Russia persist, bank shares have fallen faster than the markets in general. Shares of European banks with the largest Russian operations fell: shares of Austria’s Raiffeisen fell 19%, while UniCredit of Italy and France’s Société Générale lost about 11% of their value.

In the US, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup are all down about 4 percent in early trade.

Prices for airlines in the United States and Europe fell sharply. United Airlines and Air France KLM were down more than 7 percent, while IAG, the parent company of British Airways, was down about 6.5 percent.

US stocks have been falling for weeks, as investors worried about how quickly the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates, and the S&P 500 is now down more than 12 percent so far this year.

Technology stocks in particular have slipped away from their highs, and by Wednesday evening the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was 18.8 percent below its November record. On Thursday, the index fell another 0.7 percent.

Anton TroyanovskyAnd the Austin Ramsey And the Jason Karian Contribute to the preparation of reports.

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