The Fort Worth Press - Oil prices soar, equities sink on Ukraine invasion

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Oil prices soar, equities sink on Ukraine invasion
Oil prices soar, equities sink on Ukraine invasion

Oil prices soar, equities sink on Ukraine invasion

World oil prices again soared Tuesday while European and US equities sank after investors were unnerved by key crude producer Russia's attack on Ukraine.

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Oil prices surged more than 10 percent during the session before pulling back slightly. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate finished at $103.41, up eight percent.

The International Energy Agency said member countries had agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves in an effort to reassure a market rattled by worries that Russian crude will be impacted by sanctions or used by Russia as a political weapon.

The announcement came on the eve of a key output meeting of OPEC and non-member producers, including Russia.

"The oil rally has seriously accelerated today, breezing past $100 and gathering momentum along the way," Craig Erlam from OANDA said.

Frankfurt and Paris stock markets accelerated losses to close 3.9 percent lower.

London slid 1.7 percent, as investors shrugged off Asian gains.

Wall Street followed suit, with major indices finishing down more than 1.5 percent.

The session was the worst in New York since the Russian invasion. US indices rose both Thursday and Friday and suffered only modest declines on Monday.

Art Hogan, chief strategist at National Securities, said investors see less of a chance Russian President Vladimir Putin could deescalate the conflict.

"Russia is doubling down and we're going to have to strap in and see how this plays out," said Hogan, who also warned of a rising economic toll from sanctions.

Sanctions on Russia have sent the ruble crashing to a record low and forced the central bank to more than double interest rates to 20 percent.

The Moscow Stock Exchange remained shut on Tuesday in an attempt by authorities to stave off another expected sell-off.

The crisis has also ramped up fears about supplies of crucial commodities from the region, including wheat and nickel but particularly crude, just as demand surges owing to economic reopenings.

The conflict provides an extra headache for global central banks, who will likely have to recalibrate their plans to tighten monetary policy as they try to support their economies.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is due Wednesday to kick off two days of congressional testimony.

In London, Shell's share price dipped 0.7 percent after the energy major announced it would sell its stake in all joint ventures with Russia's Gazprom.

The news came after rival energy titan BP also signaled its exit from Russia.

TotalEnergies on Tuesday said that while it would stop providing capital for new projects in Russia, the French giant was not withdrawing from current projects in the country.

Tech giant Apple meanwhile announced a halt to all product sales in Russia, saying "we are deeply concerned about the Russian invasion of Ukraine and stand with all of the people who are suffering as a result of the violence."

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

Brent North Sea crude: UP 7.1 percent at $104.97 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 8.0 percent at $103.41 per barrel

New York - Dow: DOWN 1.8 percent 33,294.95 (close)

New York - S&P 500: DOWN 1.6 percent at 4,306.26 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: DOWN 1.6 percent at 13,532.46 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 1.7 percent at 7,330.20 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: DOWN 3.9 percent at 13,904.85 points (close)

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 3.9 percent at 6,396.49 points (close)

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 4.0 percent at 3,765.85 points (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 26,844.72 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.2 percent at 22,761.71 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.8 percent at 3,488.83 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1126 from $1.1219 late Monday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3326 from $1.3420

Euro/pound: DOWN at 83.46 pence from 83.60 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 114.90 yen from 115.00 yen

burs-jmb/cs

L.Rodriguez--TFWP