SEE stocks selloff

SEE stocks join global sell-off

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Stocks in South East Europe bled amid brutal sell-off on Thursday in line with equities around the world which plunged after Russian President Putin launched a military operation in Ukraine.

North Macedonia led the losses in the region with the benchmark MBI 10 index sinking 8.65%. Slovenia’s bourse was the second worst performer as the blue-chip SBITOP index shrunk by 7.35%.
Croatia’s CROBEX plunged 6.48%. Greek stocks as measured by the Athens Exchange (ATHEX) general index returned -6.42%. In Bucharest, the BET index plummeted 4.08%.

In Nicosia, the general index of the Cyprus Stock Exchange plunged 4.06%. Bulgaria’s SOFIX index decreased 1.90%. Bosnian stocks also fell with Sarajevo’s SASX10 index dropping 0.61%. Serbia’s BELEX15 declined 0.23%.

MBI 10
(Source: N. Macedonian Stock Exchange)

The assets’ losses in South East Europe mirrored the trend across the Old Continent where big European indices such as Germany’s DAX sank 4%. In France, the CAC 40 index slumped 3.8% while in the U.K., the FTSE 100 was off 2.5%. The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed down more than 3%, reaching its lowest point since the start of 2022. Banks led losses, with Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale contracting by 6-8%.

The BUX index in Budapest closed down 9.76%. Hungary largely shares its borders with Ukraine. In Moscow, the benchmark MOEX index of leading Russian shares fell by 33.28%. Russia’s banks, commodities firms, metals exporters and technology companies all fell heavily in the mass sell-off and the ruble sank to a record low.

Speaking of commodities, spot gold advanced 3.17% to go for $ 1,968.01 per ounce at 10:30 a.m. in London, the highest since late 2020. Oil prices also jumped with international benchmark Brent crude and U.S. futures both surpassing $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014 as the escalation of the Ukraine crisis sparked fears of a disruption to the region’s critical energy exports.

Aluminum rallied to a record while nickel hit the highest in more than a decade. Wheat hit a fresh nine-year high on fears that shipments could be affected. And European natural gas prices surged as much as 41%.

All of which means the situation will have an inflationary impact through higher energy prices and a downward effect on economic growth.

Definitely there will be a risk-off mood for a couple of days as the markets assess the escalating crisis.