Global stocks fall as tensions in Ukraine rise

Global stocks fell sharply Monday on rising tension over Russia’s military advance into Ukraine and the threat of sanctions by Western governments.
Published: March 4, 2014

Global stocks fell sharply Monday on rising tension over Russia’s military advance into Ukraine and the threat of sanctions by Western governments. Treasurys and gold prices rose as investors bought safer assets.

The price of crude oil rose over concerns that Russian oil exports could be disrupted.

•KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 15 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,844 as of 2:10 p.m. Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 170 points, or 1.1 percent, to 16,150. The Nasdaq composite dropped 33 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,274.

•WORLD MARKETS: Markets also fell in Europe. Germany’s DAX sank 3.4 percent, to 9,358. Britain’s FTSE 100 dropped 1.5 percent, to 6,708 and Russia’s benchmark stock index plunged 12 percent, to 1,115.

•SAFETY FIRST: Gold and bond prices rose as investors put money into safer assets.

The price of gold gained $28.70, or 2.2 percent, to $1,350.30 an ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.60 percent from 2.65 percent late Friday.

•THE REACTION: Stock markets are reacting exactly as one would expect them to in a time of heightened global political tensions, said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated investors. Investors are selling riskier assets like stocks and buying safer securities like U.S. Treasurys and gold.

“We just have no way of knowing how this is going to play out,” Orlando said. “It’s a very uncertain situation and the market is demonstrating its unhappiness with that.”

•RUSSIAN STOCKS: Shares of Russian companies traded in the U.S. also plummeted. Mechel, a mining company, fell 14 cents, or 7.4 percent, to $1.76; Phone company VimpelCom fell 70 cents, or 6.9 percent, to $9.47. Oil company LukOil fell $3.50, or 6.4 percent, to $50.90.