NEW YORK — Shares of Russian companies traded in the United States plummeted Monday as the country’s military forces streamed into Ukraine, raising the possibility of sanctions by Western governments.
US Secretary of State John Kerry told Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, that he may ‘‘find himself with asset freezes on Russian business.’’ There are also talks of boycotting the Group of Eight summit of leaders in the Olympic host city of Sochi this summer.
BNY Mellon’s Russia ADR index slumped 8 percent Monday and is now down about 27 percent for the year. Stocks in the index include metals company Mechel, which fell 9.47 percent to $1.72, and Russia’s biggest mobile communications operator, Mobile Telesystems, which tumbled 7.55 percent at $15.92. Another mobile phone company, VimpelCom, was off 5.02 percent to $9.65.
In addition, US-traded shares of Yandex, Russia’s biggest Internet search engine, fell 14.05 percent to $32.23.
Global markets were shaken by the developments in Ukraine and Crimea, as fears of contagion spread. A number of Europe’s biggest banks fell sharply.
Russia essentially took control of Crimea, a Ukrainian peninsula with strategic importance, and the new Ukrainian government in Kiev fears a wider invasion. The West responded by questioning Russia’s membership in the G-8 leading industrialized democracies, and the United States threatened possible asset freezes and trade penalties.
In Moscow, the Russian stock market dropped about 11 percent and the ruble — already down nearly 10 percent this year — fell to its lowest point ever against the dollar and the euro.
Russia’s central bank decided to temporarily increase its key interest rate by 1.5 percentage points, to 7 percent, in a bid to keep the ruble’s fall from driving up inflation.