European markets fall after Russia attacks Ukraine
On Thursday, European stocks fell after Russia initiated an attack on Ukraine, listing a diplomatic crisis into a military conflict.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 2.8% early trade, with banks tumbling 4.4% to lead losses. All sectors and significant bourses slid into negative territory.
On Thursday, global markets fell after the news that Russia launched an attack on Ukraine, which appears to be more widespread than expected.
Journalists and government officials reported multiple explosions across Ukraine in at least four cities early Thursday morning local time. It undermined Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia was launching a military operation to the country’s far east.
Starting about three hours before sunrise on Thursday, explosions happened in and around Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. According to reports, the explosions are ongoing. Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, said in a statement that an invasion of his country was underway.
U.S. President Joe Biden criticized the attack. He said in a statement that the world would hold Russia accountable. He said this before a late-night call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The European Union will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss its response to the latest action.
Earnings came from Axa, AB InBev, Bouygues, Saint-Gobain, Safran, Mercedes-Benz, Deutsche Telekom, Anglo American, Telefonica, BAE systems, WPP, Rolls-Royce and Lloyds Banking Group.
Overview of the conflict and European stocks
On Thursday morning, there were few individual share price gains worth noting in Europe. At the same time, stocks perceived by the market to have exposure to Russia fell, with Uniper, Polymetal International, and Rolls-Royce falling more than 10%.
Russia entered a military conflict with Ukraine, escalating an already tense situation in the region and sending European stocks tumbling. The conflict began when Russian troops occupied Ukrainian territory near the Ukrainian border. President Vladimir Putin soon afterward announced that he ordered Russian forces to cross the border and “use all necessary measures” to protect Russian interests. This raised the specter of a full-scale military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, with many potential implications for the global economy. At this time, it’s too early to tell how the situation will unfold, but it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.