European markets opened sharply lower on Thursday after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine.
In the opening minutes of trade the FTSE 100 fell 2.5%, the French CAC 40 dropped 4% and Germany’s Dax was 4% lower.
Earlier, Asian markets and US stock futures plunged on Thursday as news of the military action emerged. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined 3%. Korea’s Kospi dropped 2.6%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost nearly 2% after coming back from a holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite moved 1.7% lower.
US stocks futures also tumbled: Dow futures were down as much as 780 points, or 2.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were down 2.3% and 3% respectively.
The broad losses followed a sharp decline on Wall Street on Wednesday. The Dow closed down more than 464 points, or 1.4%, posting its fifth straight day of losses. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 1.8% and 2.6%, respectively.
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