NEW YORK, Feb 25 — The Nasdaq and S&P 500 ended sharply higher on Thursday in a dramatic reversal from the start of the session as US President Joe Biden unveiled harsh new sanctions against Russia after Moscow began an all-out invasion of Ukraine.

The Dow also ended in positive territory.

After consulting counterparts from the Group of Seven nations, Biden announced measures to impede Russia’s ability to do business in the world’s major currencies, along with sanctions against banks and state-owned enterprises. Read full story

Indexes, which sold off at the start of the day on news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, hit session highs in the wake of Biden’s comments. Nasdaq was down more than 3 per cent at the open.

“The tough stand the US and Europe is taking is sending a loud message to the financial markets that they’re going to try to cripple as much as they can the Russian economy,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“From one perspective that’s positive,” he said, adding that the selling in the market may not be over. “Going forward, we’re still subject to probably higher oil prices, probably higher commodity prices.”

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 62.62 points, or 1.50 per cent, to end at 4,288.12 points, while the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC gained 435.97 points, or 3.27 per cent, to 13,464.29. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 86.95 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 33,218.71.

The information technology sector .SPLRCT gave the S&P 500 its biggest boost in a reversal of Wednesday’s action.

Ukrainian forces battled Russian invaders on three sides on Thursday after Moscow mounted an assault by land, sea and air in the biggest attack on a European state since World War Two. — Reuters