Brent crude, the global oil-price benchmark hit $102, topping $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Analysts warned on Wednesday that a full-scale attack on Ukraine from Russia could rapidly drive prices well above £1.50 a litre at the pump for British consumers.
The London Stock Exchange’s leading FTSE 100 index plunged more than 200 points, or 2.7%, within moments of opening in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The wild moves come after Ukrainian authorities said that Russia had launched a “full scale invasion” on the country. Russian president Vladimir Putin said that his country had launched a special military operation” in Ukraine.
Investors rushed towards safer assets, including gold, driving the precious metal up around 1.7 per cent, its highest level since early 2021, meanwhile silver rose 2.3 per cent based on popularly traded futures contracts.
Natural gas prices rocketed around the world as news of the Russian attacks emerged. In some European markets, prices jumped as much as 30 per cent. The region, including the EU’s largest economy, Germany, is highly dependent on Russian energy imports.
Stock markets across Asia dropped significantly, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index down 3 per cent.
Russian stocks listed on Moscow’s Moex index fell by more than 28 per cent, the most on record.