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Title: European Stock Futures Slump Following Ukrainian Nuclear Plant Attack

Mar 04, 2022 02:01AM ET

By: AnalysisWatch

European stock markets are expected to open significantly lower on Friday on signs of intensifying fighting in Ukraine. The attack on a nuclear power plant is raising fears of an environmental disaster to add to the humanitarian catastrophe already underway.

At 2 a.m., German DAX futures had fallen 1.5%, French CAC 40 futures had fallen 1.2%, and UK FTSE 100 futures had fallen 0.8%.

In the latest development, Russia has been accused of shelling Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe. This prompted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce that he would call an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said there was no evidence of elevated radiation levels at the plant, which supplies more than a fifth of Ukraine's total electricity production. Reuters reported that Russian forces had seized the plant.

Given Moscow's importance to oil and gas production, the Russian incursion into Ukraine triggered a broader disruption in world energy markets that could have a long-term impact on global growth.

Oil prices rose on Friday following news of the attack on the nuclear plant, increasing the likelihood that Europe and the U.S. will close a loophole in their current sanctions package that allows for uninterrupted payments for energy supplies. Russia is the world's largest energy exporter.

The West has not yet targeted Russian oil and gas exports, but buyers have largely avoided them anyway for fear of being targeted by sanctions.

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