Oil smashes through $100 barrier in safe haven rush as Putin pulls trigger on Ukraine | Business News

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 around 4% lower while the commodity-heavy FTSE 100 in London was forecast to start the day over 2.5% down – partly shielded from the worst as the price of oil and things such as metals shoot up.

Follow the latest updates on the Russian attack on Ukraine here

Brent crude, the international oil 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.

Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, said markets had entered “panic” mode.

“In commodities, the European natural gas futures are already up 10%… US crude jumped past the $98 mark.

“Gold flirts with the $1950 per ounce and the bulls are already to target a further advance toward the $2000 threshold.

“Corn futures are up more than 4%, wheat futures are up more than 5%, as Russia is the world’s largest grain wheat exporter.

“Oat futures, soybean futures, silver, platinum, palladium, all move higher this morning expect for sugar, cotton, orange juice and live cattle.”

The only stock market not to feel any pain was in Russia as the Moscow exchange suspended trading.

The Russian rouble hit a record low level versus the US dollar.

Cryptocurrency also took a hammering – with Bitcoin’s sensitivity evident through a 6% slide to $35,000.

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