War in Ukraine: Commodity prices explode and stock markets fall

The panic caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine is also felt in the financial markets. Commodity prices soared as major global stock indices fell sharply on Thursday (February 24th).

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Russia is the hardest hit. The Moscow Stock Exchange collapsed by more than 30% and the Russian currency hit its lowest value, at 90 rubles to the dollar. A situation that could still get worse with the new sanctions that the United States and the European Union are preparing.

But the panic affected all global stock markets, such as Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and London, which lost more than 3%, one of the worst sessions since March 2020 and the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

Rise in oil and gas prices

Commodity prices have soared, while inflation is already affecting French households. The barrel of oil exceeded 100 dollars, a first since 2014, and the benchmark European natural gas market jumped 50%. Aluminum, wheat and rapeseed also broke records.

“Soaring energy prices are a big headache for Europe, since 40% of its natural gas and 30% of its oil come from Russia”, explains a Swissquote analyst interviewed by AFP. A situation that concerns France less, which only imports 24% of its gas from Russia, according to a Senate briefing report.

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