The full scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia has sparked a rush for safe haven assets and sent the cost of Brent crude oil above $100 a barrel for the first time since September 2014.
Fears of a wider conflict, additional sanctions and higher inflation arising from president Putin’s order to attack prompted a rush of activity on global markets – first felt in Asia where stock markets were widely down by 3%.
European futures showed Germany’s DAX would open more than 3.5% down while the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 in London was forecast to start the day over 2% lower – partly shielded as the price of oil and metals shot up.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose by more than $4 a barrel on reports of the first explosions in Ukraine.
It continued to climb above $102 a barrel as the extent of the invasion became clearer, signalling additional price pressures for a global economy already battling a COVID-linked surge in inflation.
Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Avatrade, said: “The fact that Russia has invaded Ukraine, the US and its western allies are likely to ramp up sanctions against the country.
“If additional restrictions are imposed, global oil supply could suffer yet another setback, causing oil prices to skyrocket.”
The only stock market not to feel any pain was in Russia as the Moscow exchange suspended trading.