European Shares Plunge As Ukraine Crisis Deepens

European stocks fell sharply on Friday and were on course for their third consecutive week of declines after Russia took control of Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant.

As Russia’s offensive in Ukraine entered the ninth day, Russian forces have seized Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant after intense fighting during which shelling caused a fire to break out at a training facility on the site.

The pan European Stoxx 600 fell 2.1 percent to 428.35 after plummeting 2 percent on Thursday.

The German DAX lost 2.8 percent, France’s CAC 40 index shed 2.9 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 was down 2.6 percent.

ArcelorMittal declined 3.7 percent. The company said it has halted its steelmaking operations in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine to ensure the safety and security of its people and assets.

British media firm ITV lost over 8 percent after announcing it would launch a revamped streaming service.

Murray International dropped 1 percent. The investment trust reported return before taxation of 204.87 million pounds for the full year, significantly higher than 2.74 million pounds in the previous year.

Dassault Aviation SA shares rose about 1 percent in Paris. The aircraft manufacturer reported that its fiscal 2021 profit doubled from last year amid strong revenue growth as well as higher order intake.

Michelin slumped 5.5 percent. The tyre maker said it would temporarily halt production at some of its plants in Europe due to significant supply-chain issues.

In economic releases, German exports were down 2.8 percent month-on-month, reversing a 1.2 percent rise in December, Destatis reported. Shipments were expected to climb 1.0 percent.

Likewise, imports decreased 4.2 percent, in contrast to the 4 percent increase a month ago. Economists had forecast a monthly growth of 2.0 percent.

French industrial output rose 1.6 percent month-on-month, in contrast to the 0.1 percent fall in December, figures from the statistical office Insee revealed.

This was the first increase in three months and exceeded the expected rate of 0.5 percent.

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