Ukraine and Russia crisis
The rising threat of war between Ukraine and Russia spooked markets and sent investors scurrying for relative safety on Monday, pushing stocks down sharply and lifting gold to a four-month high.
Russia’s stock market nose-dived 9% at the open on Monday while the rouble fell 2% to record lows against the dollar and the euro, and the central bank dramatically lifted its key lending rate by 1.5 percentage points to 7% at an unscheduled meeting.
No major regional bourse escaped the aggressive selling, with all down more than 1% and Germany’s DAX particularly hard hit, tumbling 2.5%. Concern about China’s economy also weighed on markets after a purchasing managers’ index showed China’s vast factory sector contracted again in February.
The price of OPEC basket of twelve crudes stood at 104.37 dollars a barrel on Thursday, compared with $105.24 the previous day, according to OPEC Secretariat calculations.