- The European Stoxx 600 fell 4%, while Russia's MOEX was 30% down as it looked likely to record its worst session since 2016.
- Gold prices rose while Bitcoin tracked stocks with a 10% dip to lows of $35K.
European stocks fell sharply on Thursday morning as Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index was down 4%, while Germany’s DAX had tumbled 4.5% and France’s CAC was falling, nearly 4.6% in the red. Italy’s FTSE MIB was down 4.2%.
In the UK, the benchmark FTSE 100 was down 3.3%.
While major stock indexes in the UK, Germany and France were down 3% or more, the Russian MOEX was seeing the most bleeding. In early trades Thursday, the index fell by more than 45%, with trading briefly halted amid the invasion news.
At the time of writing, the MOEX is down 30%, with this likely to be the index’s worst session since 2016.
Gold soars as Bitcoin slips to $35,000
Elsewhere in the markets, gold prices have jumped more than 4% to $1,978 per ounce, while oil broke above $100 per barrel.
In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin price has shed nearly 10% to test lows of $35,000.
Ukraine vows to defend its freedom
The massive losses across the European market come as investor anxiety hits the roof amid concerns of an extended hit on the markets.
Reports of explosions in several major cities in Ukraine continue to emerge, including in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. Ukraine’s Foreign Minister confirmed this via an update on Twitter.
No, this is not a Russian invasion only in the east of Ukraine, but a full-scale attack from multiple directions.
No, the Ukrainian defense has not collapsed. Ukrainian army took the fight. Ukraine stands with both feet on the ground & continues to defend itself.
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 24, 2022
Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has vowed that the country will not give up its freedom.
“Russia treacherously attacked our state in the morning, as Nazi Germany did in WWII years. As of today, our countries are on different sides of world history. Russia has embarked on a path of evil, but Ukraine is defending itself and won't give up its freedom no matter what Moscow thinks,” he said
The EU, Germany and United Kingdom have condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin, while the US has vowed to stand with its NATO allies.