Ukraine crisis: Oil hits $100, markets tumble
Oil prices rose above $100 a barrel on February 24, the highest level in more than seven years, as fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to rock the financial markets.
Gold prices and the Japanese yen, traditional “safe havens” during global unrest, also climbed.
Oil prices rose above $100 a barrel and global stock markets tumbled after reports of widespread military action by Russia against Ukraine, heightening fears of a major war in Europe.
Brent crude futures are trading at $100.01 (+8.59%) while WTI crude is trading at $105.29 (+8.73%) a barrel.
Supply concerns and pending sanctions against Russia have sent oil climbing.
The gold price is soaring at $1,968 extending its break towards $1,980. The precious metal has become increasingly popular as a safer alternative as things escalate in eastern Europe.
Tensions about an imminent attack by Russia on Ukraine have rattled the financial markets. The concern is that a possible Russian invasion will trigger further US and European sanctions, disrupting exports from the one of the world’s top producers in a market already beset by supply issues.
Stock market jitters
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 464.85 points (-1.38%) to 33,131.76, the S&P 500 lost 79.26 points (-1.84%) to 4,225.5 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 344.03 points (-2.57%) to 13,037.49.
The US dollar however strengthened sharply and was last up 3.2% against the Russian rouble. Authorities in Russia have suspended all trading on Moscow exchanges; the Russian rouble fell 9% on currency exchanges.
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