The markets do not like the look of this.
Sketchy reports of actual fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces have put the global markets on a war footing.
Yields on German government bonds, where European investors go for safety, fell sharply to new all-time lows. (Bond yields fall when bond prices rise.)
Investors are dumping German stocks:
Yields on US Treasury bonds, the global safe haven, have fallen sharply to their lows for the year:
The flight to safety is even touching Japanese government bonds, where yields are hitting their lows for the year:
After an early slide, gold is rallying:
And the Brent crude oil futures contract, the European benchmark, jumped on the prospect of disruptions to Ukraine’s crucial energy infrastructure:
The VIX index of volatility—the so-called “fear gauge”—is also on the rise:
Traders are ditching the Russian ruble, which is now down by more than 8% against the dollar so far this year: