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Russia, Ukraine war fears send oil soaring, shake stocks – Reuters

  • U.S. stock indexes tumble, Euro STOXX 600 closes barely higher
  • Crude oil futures hit highest levels since 2014
  • U.S. dollar down, U.S. Treasuries rise

NEW YORK, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Crude oil futures on Monday hit their highest levels since 2014 on supply concerns while stocks sold off in a volatile session as investors eyed international responses to Russia recognising two breakaway regions in Ukraine and sending troops there.

Stocks pared losses sharply and U.S. Treasury yields rose after U.S. President Joe Biden announced the first sanctions against Russia for what he called the beginning of an invasion of Ukraine, and he promised steeper punishments ahead if Russia continued its aggression. read more

But the safe haven U.S. dollar was slightly lower against major currencies and gold was also in the red.

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The European Union also agreed on new sanctions against Russia while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz halted the new Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia and Britain took action against Russian banks. read more

“The world is still hoping this is somewhat limited and doesn’t really spread across Europe and Ukraine,” said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia, noting that riskier assets were selling off. “Nobody’s rushing to buy.”

Brent crude futures settled up 1.5% at $96.84 per barrel after earlier topping $99 for the highest level since September 2014, reflecting fears that Russia’s energy exports could be disrupted by any conflict. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude settled up 1.4% at $92.35 per barrel after earlier hitting $96, its highest level since August 2014.

The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 16, 2022. REUTERS/Staff
The German share price index DAX graph is pictured at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, February 16, 2022. REUTERS/Staff

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 326.83 points, or 0.96%, to 33,752.35, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 19.19 points, or 0.44%, to 4,329.68, and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 48.01 points, or 0.35%, to 13,500.06.

The MSCI world equity index (.MIWD00000PUS), which tracks shares in 50 countries, shed 0.51% after earlier falling 1.5%, with the index at levels not seen since Jan. 28.

Spot gold was last down 0.4% after earlier climbing to $1,913.89, its highest since June. read more

U.S. Treasuries were whipsawed around with the reversal of an earlier rally driven by a bid for safe-haven assets as investors took a cautious approach to developments in Ukraine.

Benchmark 10-year notes last fell 6/32 in price to yield 1.9494%, from 1.93% in the previous session. Yields move in the opposite direction to bond prices.

The dollar index fell 0.118%, with the euro up 0.22% to $1.1335. The Japanese yen weakened 0.31% versus the greenback at 115.09 per dollar, while sterling was last trading at $1.359, down 0.06% on the day. read more

The Russian rouble slid to 80.9275 against the U.S. dollar in earlier trading, touching its lowest level against the greenback since November 2020, before reversing course. The dollar was last down 1.8% against the rouble.

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Reporting by Sinéad Carew in New York, Devik Jain in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Tom Wilson, Marc Jones in London, Alun John and Xie Yu in Hong Kong, Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai
Editing by David Goodman, Mark Potter and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.