European Stoxx 600 index was down 1.7% while the FTSE 100 had slipped 1.5%
Russia’s stock market did not open on Monday
Big losers included mining companies and banks across Europe.
European stocks have opened sharply lower on Monday, with major losses recorded across banks as countries ramp up sanctions against Russia.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 fell 1.7% in early morning action, while Germany’s DAX was down more than 3%. France’s CAC was also down, falling nearly 2.5% amid investor anxiety over how bad an impact the Russia-Ukraine war could have on markets.
The negative action was also seen in the UK, with Britain’s FTSE 100 plunging more than 1.5%.
The Russian market remained closed on Monday, even as the Bank of Russia announced an interest rate hike to 20% from 9.5%.
Wall Street is also likely to open red on Monday after the futures bounced lower overnight Sunday. At the moment, the S&P 500 futures, Dow futures and Nasdaq futures are all more than 1.3% down.
Banks and companies exposed to Russia fall
Steel manufacturer and mining giant EVRAZ plc has plunged over 25%. The London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed company has its biggest operations in Russia and Ukraine.
Other big losers are mainly banks, with France’s Societe Generale down 11%, Italy’s UniCredit S.p.A. -9%, and Germany’s Deutsche Bank also down 9%.
At the top of the gainers’ list are defense stocks where major companies are seeing an uptick in buy pressure. The Pan-European Stoxx 600 index has the shares of BAE Systems up 15%,Thales SA +9% and thyssenkrupp AG +8%.
Oil and gold up
Across the markets, oil prices were up more than 5% to close in on the $100 a barrel level.
Meanwhile, gold bounced off Friday’s dip to trade above $1,900 per ounce, but Bitcoin was down 2.2% to $38,260 after easing off highs of $39,850.