Stocks fell slightly on Monday but pared back some losses as a fresh round of Western sanctions slammed Russia’s financial markets, with the market’s losses tempered by reports that Russian and Ukrainian officials are meeting to discuss a potential end to the conflict, even as Russian troops continue their offensive on the capital city of Kyiv.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.5%, nearly 200 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 0.4%.
Energy prices surged yet again on Monday, with Brent crude rising more than 3% to over $101 per barrel, with experts warning that prices could surge higher amid the fallout from the conflict.
The Russian ruble plunged up to 30% against the US dollar on Monday amid the latest round of Western sanctions, while the Moscow stock exchange was shut for the day and Russia’s central bank more than doubled interest rates to 20%.
The moves come after the latest round of Western sanctions, which have slammed Russia’s economy: The United States joined European allies over the weekend in blocking Russian banks from the interbank messaging system SWIFT, which connects more than 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries.
Though stocks were moving lower Monday, market sentiment did get a slight boost from reports that Russian and Ukrainian officials are meeting near the border to negotiate a potential end to the conflict.
Despite officials meeting for talks, Russia has continued its assault on Ukraine, entering the country’s second-largest city over the weekend (though Ukrainian troops have put up more resistance than expected and still hold the capital of Kyiv).