The Dow Jones Index was down by more than 1% in late morning trading on worries that Russia might invade neighboring Ukraine, a fall mirrored by declines of over 2% in WTI and Brent crude oil prices.
The declines came as US President Joe Biden warned that a Russian invasion is imminent and that a false-flag operation was being concocted by the Russian government to justify military action.
Central to escalation is the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine where Ukrainian forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatists since 2014. European monitors have reported multiple shelling incidents in eastern Ukraine in recent days, with both sides accusing each other of firing first.
Russia has also expelled the US’s second most senior diplomat Leaders of several members of the NATO alliance have warned that they believe a Russian attack will take place the next several days.