Market Wrap: Stocks, Cryptos Fall as US Looks For New Ways to Punish Putin

Biden announced plans among the US, European Union and G7 nations to remove Russia’s trade status, deepening the economic burden on the country


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key takeaways

  • Cryptos and equities notched lower Friday after Biden announced the US, European Union and other nations would seek to ban more Russian imports
  • “A direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War III. And something we must strive to prevent,” President Biden said in a Tweet Friday

Equity and crypto markets fell Friday as President Joe Biden announced the US, the European Union and G7 members are planning to remove Russia's "most favored" nation trading status.

The move widens bans on Russian imports to additional goods, including vodka and seafood.

In a press briefing, Biden said the switch in Russia's trade status "would be another crushing blow to the Russian economy." Biden added: "It's already suffering very badly from our sanctions."

Biden reiterated that the US would defend NATO, but that a direct conflict between NATO and Russia would result in a new world war.

"I want to be clear: We will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full might of a united and galvanized NATO," Biden said. "But we will not fight a war against Russia in Ukraine. A direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War III. And something we must strive to prevent."

So far, Russia seems indifferent to the economic strife. The country even increased its push through Ukraine by striking airfields in the west and a major industrial city in the east, lowering hopes that the conflict could end diplomatically.

The invasion continues to make markets highly volatile. The S&P 500 fell by 1.3% Friday, while the Nasdaq and Dow dropped by 2.13% and 0.69%, respectively.

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Cryptocurrencies also slid, with bitcoin falling by 2.09% and ether dropping by 2.08% by the end of stock trading.

THORchain, a decentralized liquidity protocol, was crypto’s biggest gainer of the day among the top 100 coins by market capitalization, with a 9.27% gain.

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Going forward

Markets are likely to be volatile going forward as the Ukraine-Russia conflict intensifies. The mid-March Federal Reserve meeting, where the regulator plans to reveal its interest rate plan, will take place next week.

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