European markets fall sharply as new sanctions are imposed on Russia; Stoxx 600 down 1.4%

More sanctions have been imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with the U.S., Europe and Canada agreeing to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT.

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New York: The pan-European Stoxx 600 dropped 1.4% by mid-afternoon, with banks plunging 6% to lead losses on the back of fresh sanctions as almost all sectors and major bourses slid into negative territory. Utilities bucked the downward trend to add 1%.

The Russian advance into Ukraine continued throughout the weekend. Russian military vehicles entered Ukraine’s second-largest city Kharkiv, with reports of fighting taking place and residents being warned to stay in shelters.

More sanctions have been imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, with the United States, Europe, and Canada agreeing Saturday to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT. The U.K. and EU have also closed their airspace to Russian aircraft. Goldman Sachs says these stocks could benefit as the Russia-Ukraine conflict intensifies

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Russian President Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear deterrence forces on high alert on Sunday amid a growing global backlash against the invasion. Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said representatives for Ukraine and Russia have agreed to meet on the Ukraine-Belarus border “with no preconditions.”

U.S. stock futures moved sharply lower in premarket trading on Monday as investors grew concerned about the economic ramifications of the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly higher by Monday’s close.

Oil futures were up more than 3% and the Russian ruble initially dived around 29% against the dollar early on Monday morning before recouping some of its losses, as markets assessed the impact of sanctions on Russia.

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Earnings came from Atos, Signify, and GSK on Monday.

Individual share price movement on Monday was heavily dictated by the conflict.

Defense companies rallied hard in early trade, with Rheinmetall soaring 23% to lead gains, after the German government’s decision to increase defense spending. Shares of BAE Systems, Leonardo, and Thales all saw double-digit bounces.

At the bottom of the European blue-chip index, Polymetal International plunged more than 47% as the Anglo-Russian miner continued to nosedive as a result of its Russian exposure. Finland’s Nokian Tyres tumbled 22%.

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