US stock futures also fell. Dow futures fell As much as 780 points or 2.4%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were down 2.3% and 2.8%, respectively.
The Moscow Stock Exchange announced, on Thursday, the suspension of trading in all its markets until further notice.
The Russian ruble fell nearly 10% against the US dollar, trading at 89.59 per dollar.
In the speech broadcast on Russian national television, Putin urged Ukrainian forces to lay down their weapons and go home, saying that all responsibility for the potential bloodshed rests entirely on the conscience of the Ukrainian government.
Putin’s speech came as fears mounted of an imminent full-scale Russian invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a moving speech early Thursday that the Russian leadership had approved military action in Ukraine and vowed that the country would defend itself.
“Geopolitical risks remain on top, weighing down risky assets as heightened uncertainty over Ukraine continues to keep market participants on edge,” Yeap Jun Rong, market analyst at IG Group, wrote in a note Thursday.
He added that Putin is likely “willing to overcome the economic impact of sanctions, which may raise questions about what Western powers can do to repel the invasion.”
Chinese tech stocks ignore state media’s call
at the same time, Chinese technology shares fell on Thursday, despite state media seeking to reassure investors about regulation concerns.
The announcement raised concerns about a renewed tech crackdown and hurt tech stocks this week. Online food delivery platform Meituan has fallen more than 20% since Friday.
The government’s Economic Daily tried to play down the concerns on Wednesday.
The directive contains more than 5,000 words, with only a few lines relating to the platform’s economics, the newspaper said.
But tech investors remain concerned. Meituan shares fell 2.4%. Tencent, which has a large stake in Meituan, fell 3%. Alibaba, which owns food delivery platform Ele.me, has sank more than 6%.
Alibaba is due to reveal its quarterly earnings later Thursday.
CNN Business’s Matt Egan contributed to the report.
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