NEW YORK: US stocks were mostly lower at the start of trading Monday amid ongoing concerns about the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has sent global oil prices soaring.
And as the civilian death toll mounts in Ukraine, the IMF and World Bank are warning about the consequences the conflict and the tough sanctions imposed on Russia will have on the global economy, which is still trying to regain its footing from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Brent crude spiked to nearly $140 a barrel, but has since retreated, and Western allies have so far refrained from targeting Russia’s oil exports for sanctions.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost another 0.9 percent about 15 minutes into the trading session to 33,322.18
The broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.8 percent 4,292.88, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index 0.6 percent to 13,228.32.
Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare said “the outlook is anything but clear at the moment on the geopolitical and economic fronts.
US stocks drop as Ukraine worries overshadow good jobs data
“That’s why trading conditions are expected to remain volatile, with appreciable moves to the upside and the downside based on the latest headlines,” he said in a commentary.
US investors will get a report on consumer prices on Thursday, a key figure ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, when the central bank is expected to raise the benchmark interest rate to tamp down rising inflation.
CPI in January hit a four decade high, and though Fed officials had expected price pressures to ease in coming months, the war in Ukraine could push inflation higher.
The IMF said “the economic consequences are already very serious,” and warned that “Energy and commodity prices — including wheat and other grains — have surged, adding to inflationary pressures from supply chain disruptions and the rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.”