A Thai investor walks past an electronic board displaying live market data at a stock broker's office in central Bangkok A...

Stocks slump, oil surges as Russia begins military action in Ukraine

BEIJING — Asian stock markets have plunged and oil prices surged after President Vladimir Putin announced Russian military action in Ukraine.

Market benchmarks in Tokyo and Seoul fell 2 percent and Hong Kong and Sydney lost more than 3 percent Thursday. Oil prices jumped nearly $3 per barrel on unease about possible disruption of Russian supplies.

WATCH: U.N. Security Council holds emergency meeting as Russia begins attack on Ukraine

Earlier, Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index fell 1.8 percent to an eight-month low after the Kremlin said rebels in eastern Ukraine asked for military assistance.

Investors already were uneasy about the possible impact of the Federal Reserve’s plans to try to cool inflation by withdrawing ultra-low interest rates and other stimulus that boosted share prices.

Support PBS NewsHour: