News of what Ukraine officials said was an unprecedented attack on a nuclear power plant sent shudders through markets.
Stocks retreated as concerns that war risks are intensifying overshadowed stronger-than-forecast American jobs data.
Equities headed toward a weekly loss, while the greenback rose to its highest level since 2020 and Treasury 10-year yields traded below 1.8%. Europe’s common currency approached a key support level that goes back to the euro’s inception in 1999. As Russia’s isolation chokes supply energy, metals and crops, commodities have been staging their most-stunning weekly surge since the 1974 oil crisis.
US hiring boomed in February, showing a strong labor market that likely keeps the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates this month while offering some respite from strong inflationary pressures. Nonfarm payrolls increased 678,000 last month – the most since July – after upward revisions in the prior two months. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.8%, and average hourly earnings were slightly changed from the prior month.
News of what Ukrainian officials said was an unprecedented attack on a nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – sent shudders around the world. But a fire that broke out at the Zaporizhzhia site was eventually contained and the damage was unlikely to result in the kind of devastation seen in the last atomic disaster on Ukrainian soil, the 1986 meltdown at Chernobyl.
Some of the main moves in markets:
- The S&P 500 fell 0.8% as of 9:30 am New York time
- The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.6%
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1.1%
- The Stoxx Europe 600 fell 2.5%
- The MSCI World index fell 1.3%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.8%
- The euro fell 1.4% to $ 1.0915
- The British pound fell 0.9% to $ 1.3227
- The Japanese yen was slightly changed at 115.39 per dollar
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined 10 basis points to 1.74%
- Germany’s 10-year yield declined nine basis points to -0.07%
- Britain’s 10-year yield declined seven basis points to 1.23%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 4.7% to $ 112.69 a barrel
- Gold futures rose 0.9% to $ 1,953.40 an ounce – With assistance from Sunil Jagtiani, Emily Barrett, Namitha Jagadeesh and Vildana Hajric.