Stocks and Energy Markets Whipsaw After Russian Attack on Ukraine

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Combined with the sanctions announced Thursday, Mr. Biden said, these measures “will so weaken” Russia that it will give Mr. Putin “some difficult decisions.”

Mr. Putin has been pushing for more than a decade for Western recognition “of a Russian sphere of influence in the post-Soviet states,” and he may not stop unless he is forced to do so, Ms. Stent said in an online Council on Foreign Affairs conference on Wednesday.

In anticipation of the new sanctions, bank stocks fell faster than the markets overall. Shares of European banks with the biggest Russian operations plunged: Raiffeisen of Austria fell 23 percent, while UniCredit of Italy fell 13.5 percent and Société Générale of France lost about 12 percent. In the United States, JPMorgan Chase fell about 2.8 percent and Citigroup slid 4 percent.

Energy stocks fell on Thursday but they have been a bright spot for investors who have owned them in 2022. With a gain of more than 19 percent, energy is the only sector in the S&P 500 to be up for the year. Halliburton, Occidental Petroleum, Marathon Oil, Hess and Exxon Mobil are among the fossil fuel stocks that have gained more than 20 percent in 2022.

Investors seeking safety in the market storm flocked to the usual havens — Treasury bonds and gold.

“Treasuries provide protection in an environment like this,” said David Rosenberg, chief economist of his own firm, Rosenberg Research, in Toronto. “I think recession risks are rising, and there has never been a recession in modern history where long-term Treasuries didn’t make you money.”

Bond yields, which move in the opposite direction of prices, fell. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury, which was as high as 2.045 percent on Feb. 15, fell to 1.96 percent on Thursday.

And gold, which was less than $1,770 an ounce in November, rose above $1,924 at one point in New York, before falling to $1,899. “Gold has always been one of the places you want to go in a crisis,” Mr. Rosenberg said.

Reporting was contributed by Anton Troianovski, Austin Ramzy, William P. Davis and Jason Karaian.


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