Global markets are suffering Monday as the situation beween the United States, Russia and Ukraine becomes increasingly volatile.
Russian military forces effectively seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula over the weekend, prompting the latter to accuse the former of a declaration of war. Western leaders are now reportedly considering sanctioning Russia.
The threat of sanctions could be hollow -- but it has nevertheless rattled the markets.
Stocks everywhere took a big fall while traditional safe haven assets, including gold and other precious metals, saw an impressive boost in investment.
"Risk aversion is rife in the markets as the Ukraine crisis escalated further, prompting investors to rebalance their portfolios away from stocks and toward commodities and other safe haven assets," said market analyst Craig Erlam, according to the Associated Press.
Moscow's RTS stock index fell 12 percent Monday while the dollar jumped to an all-time high of 37 rubles:
The index that monitors leading British shares, the FTSE 100, closed down 1.5 percent at 6,708.35:
France’s CAC-40 index fell 2.7 percent to 4,290.87:
Germany's DAX fared no better: The index ended Monday 3.4 percent lower at 9,358.89. The sharp decline is most likely due to the fact that Germany relies heavily on Russian gas:
In the United States, the Dow Jones industrial average is down about 1.1 percent at 16,163:
The S&P 500 index, a broader measure than the Dow, sits at about 0.9 percent lower at 1,842:
Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined by 1.5 percent to 22,500.67:
"We just have no way of knowing how this is going to play out," Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated investors, told the AP. "It's a very uncertain situation and the market is demonstrating its unhappiness with that."
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