The war in Ukraine is ravaging the markets

Ukrainian soldiersPhoto: AP Photo / Andriy Dubchak

The week started with the highest oil price since 2008 and a large stock market decline in Asia. The price of gold was over USD 2,000 per ounce.

The development is linked to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the international sanctions on Russia.

Shortly after trading opened on Monday, the price of a barrel of North Sea oil soared to USD 139, the highest price since 2008, before stabilizing at around USD 128.

At the same time, the price of US WTI oil rose by almost USD 9 a barrel, up to USD 124. The rise in prices came after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Americans and European allies were talking about targeted sanctions against Russian oil, including the possibility of an import ban on Russian oil.

Decline in Asia

In Tokyo, both the Nikkei 225 main index and the broader Topix index fell around 3% in early trading.

When the stock exchange opened in Hong Kong, the development was similar there as well. The main index Hang Seng fell in the opening minutes by almost 4%.

After a few hours, the main indices in Shanghai and Shenzhen were down 1.2 and 2.2%, respectively.

At the same time, the price of gold, a safe haven that investors typically seek in times of great uncertainty, rose to more than USD 2,000 per ounce on Monday before stabilizing around USD 1,990. This is the highest level since September 2020.

Bloody war

The war in Ukraine is intensifying, and there are reports of more powerful attacks, civilian casualties, and deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

The situation is particularly bad in Mariupol in the south of Ukraine. The city has had neither electricity nor water for several days, and residents talk about buildings in flames and corpses in the streets. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has sounded the alarm that the humanitarian situation for the approximately 450,000 inhabitants is “catastrophic.”

Several attempts at a ceasefire to facilitate the evacuation of civilians have failed. Both sides accuse each other of violating the ceasefire.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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