Stock markets around the world have fallen on reports that a Malaysian passenger jet was shot down over Ukraine.
According to a Ukrainian interior ministry adviser, almost 300 people died in the crash, caused by a missile fired at the plane. The report follows an increase in tensions between Ukraine and Russia that has resulted in clashes along the border, including the targeting of aircraft.
Stocks in Europe fell the most in a week, extending losses in the last 30 minutes of trading after the report and as the European Union and the US imposed further sanctions on Russia.
London's FTSE, Germany's Dax and France's Cac 40 both turned sharply downwards, losing more than 1 per cent in value. They reversed a decent performance for markets yesterday, which had been driven by stronger economic growth figures in China and a raft of well-received US corporate updates.
In Dublin, the Iseq indiex of shares closed closed the day 0.5 per cent down at 4,734.
New York’s Dow Jones was also in the red but the decline was more muted as traders weighed up mixed US economic data — suggesting a better picture on unemployment but a fall in house building.
"There is a safe-haven bid across the curve on these reports," said Justin Lederer, Treasury strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald in New York.
Gold prices spiked, as did US Treasuries. Stocks of airline companies were hit hard, with the NYSE Arca Airline Index dropping 1.3 per cent.