Ukraine Bombs Shake the Markets: Gold and Oil Up, Cryptos Sinking

As missiles shook Ukraine’s ground, the military actions Russia officially launched have also shaken markets with gold and oil prices soaring to unprecedented levels.

Brent and US benchmark crude WTI futures both surged on Thursday at the highest levels since 2014 with Brent crude reaching $105.13 a barrel after rising up 8.56% and US WTI jumped $7.6 to reach $99.7 a barrel though it was elevated to $100 a barrel at one point

According to four trading sources cited by Reuters, at least three major Russian oil buyers on Thursday were unable to open letters of credit from Western banks to cover purchases.

As the world’s second-largest oil producer, Russia mainly sells crude to refineries in Europe, and covering about 35% of its supply, it’s the continent’s largest supplier of natural gas.

As investors rushed to safe havens after the tumultuous morning, the prices of gold rose over 2% to $1,943.86 per ounce for spot gold – their highest in more than a year- and $1,949.20 for US gold futures.

The latest change has risen the price of gold to a total of 8% so far in February in the best monthly gain since July 2020. Silver (1,6%), palladium (2%) and platinum (0,5%) have also seen its price increased to $24.91 per ounce, $2,530.42 and $1,097.01

Raised concerns that a war in Europe could disrupt global energy supplies sank the value of cryptocurrencies, pushing Bitcoin down 7.8% to $35,084 – lowest since July 20 – while the second-largest crypto by market value, Ethereum, fell 9.7% percent to $2,396.93, again lowest since July.

Particularly hard hit this morning were banks with significant operations in Russia such as Societe Generale, which went down 8.6%, and Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank International (16%). Shares in UniCredit – one of the largest lenders in Russia- triggered an automatic trading suspension after falling around 9%

European banking stocks index was down 6.1% and the Euro Stoxx index fell 4%.

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