Markets plummet after fire at Ukraine’s nuclear power plant


Markets tumbled on Friday after a fire broke out at a nuclear power plant in Ukraine following Russian shelling.

Ondon’s FTSE 100 index is now on course for its worst weekly performance in more than a year, Reuters said, as Russia’s war in Ukraine rocked investors.

The FTSE fell more than 1 percent after reports of a fire near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest.

The commodity-heavy index saw smaller losses than its European peers as precious metals prices edged higher, cushioning the decline.

The London Stock Exchange said it suspended trading in share listings of several Russia-based companies, including Sistema and Magnit.

Meanwhile, US stocks fell on Friday and US futures pared earlier losses after Ukraine said the Zaporizhia fire had been extinguished.

Ukraine told the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that the site had been shelled overnight.

Ukraine’s regulator told the IAEA that the fire did not affect essential equipment and that plant personnel are taking corrective action. No change in radiation levels at the facility was reported, it said.

The US S&P 500 index saw contracts fall after they fell as much as 1.7 percent following news of the fire.

Reuters reported that the pan-European STOXX 600 index was down -1.4 percent on Friday morning after Asian stocks fell to a 16-month low.

Germany’s DAX fell -2.2 percent, hitting new one-year lows, with automakers falling over -3.6 percent. France’s CAC 40 fell -2.2 percent.

Oil and gas, metals and grain prices have soared as sanctions against Russia remain in place more than a week after the Kremlin invaded Ukraine.

Wheat prices are at their highest since 2008 as exports from Russia and Ukraine, the world’s largest wheat exporter, halted. Prices are set for an increase of up to 40 percent, Bloomberg said.

European equities and financial stocks posted their biggest outflows ever in the week ended March 2, as investors fled for cash, Bank of America Corp. wrote. citing EPFR Global data.

“The headlines about the Russian shelling of this nuclear plant are clearly driving a flight to quality trading,” said Chamath de Silva, senior portfolio manager at BetaShares Holdings in Sydney.

The Russian stock market was closed for the fifth day on Friday, a new record. The ruble fell to a record low this week after rating agencies downgraded Russian government bonds to junk status. Markets plummet after fire at Ukraine’s nuclear power plant

Fry Electronics Team

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