BEIJING — Global stock markets slid Wednesday and oil prices surged more than $7 per barrel as Russian forces stepped up attacks on Ukrainian cities.
Frankfurt, Shanghai, Tokyo and Paris declined as President Vladimir Putin’s invasion fed fears of global economic turmoil. London opened higher.
The war is adding to worries about global economic growth as the Federal Reserve and other central banks gear up to fight surging inflation by raising interest rates.
“The conspiracy of geopolitical uncertainty and stagflation-type impulses is a brutal shock,” Tan Boon Heng of Mizuho Bank said in a report.
Investors were waiting for more clues about possible rate hikes when Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks Wednesday before Congress.
In early trading, the DAX in Frankfurt fell 1.4 percent to 13,715.13 and the CAC 40 in Paris sank 1.2 percent to 6,322.17. The FTSE 100 in London gained 0.2 percent to 7,346.15.
Russia’s central bank said stock trading on the Moscow exchange would remain closed Wednesday for a third day, though trading of currencies and precious metals would resume for the first time this week.
The value of Russia’s ruble fell further to less than 0.9 U.S. cents despite its central bank’s decision Monday to raise interest rates to defend the currency.
On Wall Street, the future for the benchmark S&P 500 index was up less than 0.1 percent. That for the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2 percent.
Oil prices rose despite an agreement by the United States and other major governments in the International Energy Agency to release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves to stabilize supply.
Benchmark U.S. crude jumped another $7.94 to $111.35 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose $7.69 on Tuesday to $103.41.
Brent crude, the international price standard, gained $7.84 to $112.87 per barrel in London. It soared $7 the previous session to $104.97.
“Markets dismissed the notion that 60 million barrels of strategic reserves released will be consequential to the risks of Russian supply jeopardized,” said Tan of Mizuho. “Russia pumps more than that in just six days.”