Wall Street continues losing streak as US imposes Russia oil ban

(File photo) A person stands in front of the New York Stock Exchange at Wall Street on February 24, 2022 in New York. – Wall Street stocks opened sharply lower Thursday, joining a global equity sell-off after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine lifted energy prices and prompted debate on further sanctions. (Photo by ANGELA WEISS / AFP)


NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — US stocks lost more ground on Tuesday after President Joe Biden imposed a ban on imports of Russian petroleum, and more major firms announced they were shutting operations in Russia.

Britain also announced it was phasing out energy purchases from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, while oil giants Shell and BP, both based in Britain, said they would stop buying Russian oil and natural gas immediately.

The latest steps sent oil prices up another 4.6 percent, with Brent futures rising to $128.77 a barrel.

US gasoline prices at the pump hit a record not seen since the 2008 global financial crisis, and other commodities also continue to rise, fanning inflation in major economies.

Amid increasing pressure to isolate Moscow after the invasion of Ukraine, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Starbucks joined the growing number of major firms closing up shop in Russia.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.6 percent to finish the session at 32,632.64, the lowest in nearly a year.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent to end at 4,170.7, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite lost 0.3 percent to 12,795.55.

A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky speaking to Britain’s MPs by live video-link in the House of Commons, in London, on March 8, 2022. – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, invoking the wartime defiance of British prime minister Winston Churchill, vowed on March 8, 2022 to “fight to the end” in a historic virtual speech to UK lawmakers. “We will not give up and we will not lose,” he said, recounting a day-by-day account of Russia’s invasion that dwelt on the costs in lives of civilians including Ukrainian children. (Photo by JESSICA TAYLOR / various sources / AFP) /

It was a choppy day of trading, and Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services noted that shares jumped after Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said he is no longer pressing for NATO membership.

But “the market is so nervous that at the slightest positive or negative headline, it reacts to avoid being too exposed,” he told AFP. “Everyone tries to limit the risks.”

McDonald’s and Starbucks fell, but Coca-Cola gained 2.8 percent.

Oil companies continue to see share prices rise amid the prospects for higher prices, including solid gains for Chevron, Shell and BP, and a more modest increase for Exxon Mobil.

© Agence France-Presse