European markets are rising Wednesday as Russia launched a more intense phase of its invasion of Ukraine. 

The FTSE index in London is up 0.9% at midday, with Paris’s CAC 40 one percent higher and the DAX index in Frankfurt up 0.7%.   

Stock markets in Asia and Australia were mixed earlier Wednesday.  Japan’s benchmark Nikkei index finished 1.6% lower, while Shanghai’s Composite index and the TSEC index in Taiwan both closed 0.1% lower.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.8%,, while Mumbai’s Sensex lost 1.3%. 

The KOSPI index in South Korea closed 0.1% higher.   

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX index finished up 0.2%.  

In commodities trading, gold was selling at $1,928.20 an ounce, down 0.8%. Oil markets are continuing to rise, with U.S. crude oil trading at $109.07 per barrel, an increase of 5.4%, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is 5.7% higher, selling at $110.96 per barrel.    

Russia’s currency, the ruble, was trading at 108.75 to the U.S. dollar, down 3.5%. The Russian Stock Exchange is closed for the third consecutive day after sanctions imposed by a growing list of nations in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.  The British online newspaper The Independent said Russia’s central bank will allow a limited number of operations for the first time.   

In futures trading, all three major U.S. indices are trending slightly higher ahead of Wall Street’s opening bell. 

Some information for this report came from Reuters.  


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