The global markets closed broadly down on Friday as traders and investors looked to the Sunday referendum in Crimea, and its potential ramifications.
The Euro Stoxx 50 closed at 3,004.64, a 14.90-point (0.49%) decline on the day’s opening price. The financial sector led the decline, with Dutch multinational ING Groep N.V. (INGA.AS) down 2.90% for the day at 9.67, and its Italian counterpart Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. (ISP.MI) down 2.80% at 2.1520.
The FTSE 100 closed down 25.89-points (0.40%) at 6,527.89. The day’s biggest loser was Aberdeen Asset Management PLC (ADN.L), which lost 3.11% to close out the day at 365.00 flat.
Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.27% to Friday’s close at 16,065.47, while the S&P 500 fell 0.28% to 1,841.13.
The overarching reason for the broad decline is the situation in Crimea, with Crimean citizens voting on Sunday as to the future of the region. The referendum poses two questions. The first, “Are you in favour of unifying Crimea with Russia as a part of the Russian Federation?” The second, “Are you in favour of restoring the 1992 constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?”
The questions offer up no option to keep things as they are, which hints at the potential of geopolitical, and perhaps military, unrest, as the results unfold.**relatedarticle**
Elsewhere, a number of high profile earnings releases are scheduled for the week. On Tuesday, tech is in the spotlight with Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) set to report Q3 2014 results at market close (AMC). On Wednesday, FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) and General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) will release Q3 2014 results before market open (BMO). On Thursday, AMC, Nike Inc. (NYSE:NKE) will offer up some insight into the state of the sports retail industry with the release of its Q3 2014 earnings. Closing out the week, Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE:DRI) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) will report Q3 2014 earnings on Friday, BMO.
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