Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
The deepening Ukraine crisis has sent global stocks tumbling and crude oil surging. Last night, Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered his military to enter the Russian-controlled areas of southeast Ukraine. In a lengthy televised address, he had recognised the territories of Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states.
Washington, European and other countries have condemned the move and threatened to impose tough sanctions.
Boris Johnson is chairing a meeting of the UK’s emergency Cobra committee this morning to sign off a package of sanctions against Russia. The initial signs were that the package would target “those complicit in the violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity”.
You can read more on our Ukraine crisis live blog.
Financial markets are in for a torrid day. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.7%, Hong Kong’s Hang Sing tumbled 2.9%, the Shanghai Composite Index fell just over 1% and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 1.35%.
European and US markets are also braced for heavy losses at the opening bell.
On oil markets, Brent crude is marching towards $100 a barrel amid supply fears. It has gained more than $2, or 2.2%, to $97.51 a barrel while US light crude has jumped $3.60 to $94.67 a barrel, a gain of nearly 4%.
Viktor Szabo, an emerging market portfolio manager at abrdn in London, told Reuters last night:
It is probably an understatement to say that it will be an ugly day [on the markets]. I was hoping we weren’t going to get here, but this is a significant step.
Russian markets were still trading when Putin announced his decision live on television following phone calls to the leaders of Germany and France.
The rouble dropped 3.3%, falling past 80 against the dollar, while Moscow’s stock markets plummeted to their lowest level in over a year. The dollar-denominated RTS index ended the day 13.2% lower while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index lost 10.5%.
- 9am GMT: Germany Ifo business climate survey (forecast: 96.5)
- 9am GMT: Italy inflation final for January (forecast: 4.8%)
- 10.45am GMT: Bank of England deputy governor Dave Ramsden
- 11am GMT: CBI Industrial trends survey for February
- 2pm GMT: US House prices for December
- 2.45pm GMT: US Markit PMIs for February (manufacturing, services and composite)
- 3pm GMT: US Consumer Confidence for February (forecast: 110)