On Monday, US markets fell and oil prices rose as investors worried about the Ukraine conflict and Russia’s next move.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 166 points, or 0.5 percent, at the close. As investors considered how much the crippling of Russia’s economy would resonate through global markets, it rallied off its lowest points of the day, when it was down more than 1.3 percent.
“The market is disputing the judgement of major contagion risks from shutting off Russian banks from Swift and what second-level financial impacts may emerge,” Eric Schiffer, CEO of The Patriarch Organization in Los Angeles, told The Post. Swift is a payment system used by international banks.
The broad S&P 500 index ended the day with a 0.25 percent loss, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.41 percent.
“Over the weekend, the anxiety was the possibility of a global financial collapse, but that fear has subsided dramatically,” Schiffer added. “There’s also a higher chance that the invasion will slow global development and raise inflation, and the market is taking that into account.”
So far, geopolitical unrest has benefited defence equities. Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were up 5% and 6%, respectively, while cybersecurity companies like Crowdstrike experienced increases of more than 6%.
The financial industry is being pressured, with bank equities like JPMorgan Chase plunging 4%. Citigroup plummeted more than 4.4 percent, according to Dow Jones, despite having roughly $10 billion in Russian exposure.
Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s Tesla stock increased by more than 7%, while Nvidia’s stock increased by more than 1%.
Investors were keeping a close eye on the grim developments in Eastern Europe, as Russian President Vladimir Putin placed his nuclear-armed forces on high alert while diplomats began peace talks in Belarus.
Meanwhile, oil prices in the United States surged about 5% as Russia’s relationship to the global oil markets — it’s a major supplier — was likely to be severely hampered.
The Russian economy is in shambles as a result of sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union on Moscow’s central bank and the country’s financial sector.
Meanwhile, bitcoin jumped 9.3% due to increasing demand from Russian and Ukrainian consumers, according to analysts. On Monday afternoon, the world’s most popular digital currency was trading around $41,200, while ethereum was up 7.3 percent at $2,800.
According to experienced crypto investor Marc van der Chijs of First Block Capital, the spike can be explained in part by Russians fleeing the ruble. Bitcoin was selling for as much as $46,000 on some Russian markets, according to Van der Chijs, a $5,000 premium over its US pricing.
“This appears to show that Russian buying is driving up the price of bitcoin.”
Blockchain.com research chief Garrick Hileman, meanwhile, said that the cryptocurrency’s surge may be attributable to sanctions on Russia but could also be due to people converting fiat into cryptocurrencies in order to donate to the Ukrainian military and charities.
Trading volumes for conversions between the Russian Ruble and bitcoin as well as the Ukranian Hyrivna and bitcoin both surged immediately following Russia’s invasion, according to data from Kaiko Research.
More broadly, the markets situation was so dire that the Russian central bank prevented the stock market from opening in Moscow.
New penalties have been issued by the US Treasury Department, which will impound any Russian central bank assets held in the US or by Americans.
The measure, according to the Biden administration, may have a “hundreds of billions of dollars” impact on Russian funding.
The leading indices in other countries have experienced significant losses. The London Stock Exchange sank 1%, while the DAX 30 in Germany fell 2%. The CAC 40 index in France was also down 2%.
In Asia, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 1.6 percent before closing down 0.2 percent for the day. After being down for most of the day, the Nikkei 225 closed the day up 0.2 percent. Also up 0.8 percent was the Korean Kospi.
In China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3 percent.