MILAN (Reuters) Shares in Russian exposed companies bore the brunt of selling pressure across European equity markets on Thursday after Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, raising the prospect of tougher sanctions.
The hardest hit was sharing in London-listed miners Polymetal and Evraz, Polish clothing company LPP, banks Raiffeisen and OTP, and German energy trader Uniper. Their shares were down between 10 and 36% by 0944 GMT.
London-listed shares in Russia's two biggest companies by market value, Sberbank and Gazprom (MCX: GAZP), fell as much as 77% and 42% in early trading before recouping some losses. The broader European stock market fell 3%.
U.S. President Joe Biden promised 'severe sanctions' in response to the most significant attack by one state against another in Europe since World War Two and said he would be meeting early on Thursday with G7 leaders.
And EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell also promised the most challenging financial sanctions the bloc had ever imposed.
Biden, who orchestrated an initial round of Western sanctions this week against Russian oligarchs, financial institutions, and exports, had made clear that Moscow would pay a steeper price for continued aggression.
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