Bulls condemned to Ukraine pain as tensions boil over in Crimea.
For anyone who keeps their eye on the news over the weekend it’s little surprise that the markets are totally dominated by events in Russia and Ukraine this morning, with European benchmarks sinking on the open as tensions threaten to derail February’s recovery.
This morning’s 10% slashing of the Russian Micex index goes to show just how concerned the financial world is, and on the current trajectory open conflict seems frighteningly close. Russia’s very presence in the Crimea had been a deep concern to Kiev, but actions since have prompted Ukraine’s leaders to accuse Russia of “Declaring War” and order a full mobilization of troops.
Even if conflict is avoided, Political and Economic damage increases with every hour that goes by, with US secretary of State John Kerry already weighing in with a threat of Economic sanctions and trade embargo’s. As for the upcoming G8 summit in Sochi, a string of nations have already boycotted the event for now with China the only exception.
On the flip side Ukraine is hardly a nation that can afford a large military operation right now, sitting on the brink of financial default with its path out far from secure. The current stand-off renders any Russian aid obsolete and although the EU and IMF had originally both agreed to step in, that is clearly highly contentious given the current state of affairs.
For single stocks look no further than any Russian or Ukrainian exposure for the heaviest fallers, with Raven Russia and JP Morgan Russian PLC the obvious, but a host of other names with large exposure in the region also being hammered. JKX oil, Evraz and Petropavlosk are just a few, but UK markets are littered with further casualties who either reside or have a presence in the region.
On the other end of the spectrum, the furore has spurred safe haven demand and sent Gold $20 higher, so a number of the miners buck the trend of the wider market, with Avocet, Randgold, Pan African and African Barrick gold all putting on over 4% in early deals.
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