US shares closed lower on Thur. However, what happened on Wall Street yesterday is being overshadowed by stories hitting the news wires Fri morning. It is being reported that smoke was visible from a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, the largest in Europe, after Russian troops attacked.
Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about 430 points, or 1.28%. Those for the S&P 500 declined 1.18%, while Nasdaq 100 futures moved down 1.27%.
Eurostoxx 50 Index futures have traded down as much as 3.1%. The euro is down 0.4% to US$1.1022.
Crude oil futures are soaring. The front month Brent future contract is trading at US$113 per barrel. During the regular session, crude had taken a break from its recent rally, on expectations that Iranian oil would soon return to global markets. The front-month Brent and WTI futures closed down $1.75 at US$110.46/bbl and $2.93 at US$107.67/bbl respectively on Thur.
Safe-havens are also going higher this morning. The 10-year US Treasury note yield is down to 1.776% (yields drop when prices rise). In regular trading Thur, the 10-year slipped 3.62 basis points (bps) to 1.8405%.
US gold futures are up US$7 per ounce to US$1,943/oz. Yesterday, the US gold futures (Apr) contract settled up $13.60, or 0.7%, at US$1,935.90/oz.
Wheat is up 6% on concerns that a major radioactive leak could make European agricultural products radioactive. In the two weeks after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, US wheat prices rallied nearly 20%, and then retreated to previous levels over the next three weeks.
During regular trading on Thur, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 96.69 pts or 0.29% lower to close at 33,794.66. The S&P 500 index fell 0.53%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.56%. The small cap Russell 2000 dropped 1.29%.
Megacap tech stocks traded lower on Thur, including Amazon (AMZN US, - 2.73%), Meta Platforms (FB US, -2.47%) and Microsoft (MSFT US, -1.42%).
European equity markets finished lower on Thur. The UK FTSE lost 2.57%, France's CAC 40 fell 1.84%, while the German DAX retreated 2.16%.