British stocks fell on Tuesday morning as the FTSE 100 index opened lower on renewed concerns as Russian troops entered eastern Ukraine, undermining hopes of a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Investors were also worried about the UK’s likely sanctions on Russia as Boris Johnson reportedly held an emergency Cobra meeting over the matter.
European stocks were also lackluster, with the Euro Stoxx 50 index falling after a number of European allies sided with the United States to impose tougher sanctions on Russia. While energy stocks continued to perform well, mining companies suffered somewhat.
Overnight in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index (.HK50) fell along with the US S&P 500 Index (.US500).
What is interesting today: McBride recently reported a half-year loss due to global supply chain constraints driving up costs. Miner Antofagasta revealed a 77% increase in full-year profits as copper prices rose slightly.
Why are stocks down today?
Fears of war deepen: Russia reportedly moved its troops closer to Ukraine, causing significant anxiety in financial markets.
- What does that mean: With the escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, investors are concerned about its effect on financial markets, particularly in Europe and the UK. Mining and energy stocks have been the hardest hit so far, with plenty of volatility, especially with Britain threatening to impose additional sanctions on London-based Russian firms. This may make it more difficult for these companies to raise adequate capital if Russia does not agree to a diplomatic route.
Stock markets: highlights
- The FTSE 100 index (.UK100) fell 0.94% to 7414.0 points
- The Euro Stoxx 50 index (.EU50) fell by 1.54% to 3924.1 points
- The German DAX index (.DE40) lost 1.895 to 14453.4 points
- The French CAC 40 index (.FR40) fell slightly by 1.47% to 6688.4 points
- The main sectors in the UK were healthcare, technology and energy, while financials and consumer non-durables fell into the background
- US S&P 500 futures fell 1.73% to $4,268.3
- The CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX (.VIX), a measure of expected swings in US stocks, rose to 31.08
- The US dollar index rose to $96.28
- The index of US 10-year bond yields fell to 1.904%
Top Stock Gainers in the UK and Europe
- The best performing companies in the UK were Smith and Nephew, Shell and Avast
- Shares of medical equipment manufacturer Smith and Nephew rallied after the company announced it had doubled its operating profits
- Shares of oil and gas company Shell rose after the company announced that the liquefied natural gas project in Tanzania was progressing well
- Cybersecurity software company Avast has accelerated the company’s launch of cybersecurity insurance solutions for UK households in partnership with software company OSR
- The main stock gainers in Europe were Pernod Ricard, Ahold Delhaize and L’Oréal
- French drinks company Pernod Ricard rose slightly after the company said it was putting more emphasis on diversity and inclusion in India
- Shares of Dutch supermarket Ahold Delhaize soared on the company’s annual sales growth of around 3.3%
- Shares of French personal care company L’Oreal rallied following the company’s filing of NFT trademarks for a number of beauty brands
Main losers from equities in the UK and Europe
- The worst performing companies in the UK were Hargreaves Lansdown, Coca Cola and Evraz
- Financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown fell after the company said profits fell in the first half of the year
- Beverage company Coca Cola has taken a dive over the company’s plan to launch a space-inspired drink
- Miner Evraz shares extended losses following a split and the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian crisis
- The main stock market losers in Europe were Bayer, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens
- German pharma giant Bayer fell after the company said the glyphosate crisis was worsening
- Deutsche Telekom shares fell slightly following the company’s recent announcement that it would soon join the cloud