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Stocks rebound after Ukraine fears

Global stock markets rebounded today after tumbling over the Ukraine crisis as Russian troops in border exercises were ordered back to their bases and China prepared for a policy meeting which could advance economic reform plans.

Oil prices dropped after rising 2.3% yesterday on the possibility of Western sanctions against Russia for its military incursion into the Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. Russia is one of the world's leading energy exporters.

Futures pointed to a comeback on Wall Street. Dow futures and S&P 500 futures were both up 0.7%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.5% to 14,721.48 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.7% to 22,657.63. The Sensex in India gained 1.2%t to 21,187.89 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose by 0.3% to 5,400.20.

Other markets continued the downward trend of the previous day. China's Shanghai Composite edged down 0.2% to 2,071.47 and South Korea's Kospi fell 0.5% to 1,954.11.

Markets worldwide suffered a sharp sell-off yesterday after Russian forces entered the strategic Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea. Tensions remained high today, but Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered tens of thousands of Russian troops participating in military exercises near Ukraine's border to return to their bases.

It was not clear if Mr Putin's move was an attempt to heed the West's call to de-escalate the crisis that has put Ukraine's future on the line.

European markets regained their footing. Germany's DAX climbed 1.1% to 9,465.43 and the CAC-40 in France gained 1.5% at 4,348.75. Britain's FTSE 100 jumped 1.3% to 6,795.29.

Developments in Ukraine have dominated the start of what is likely to be a busy week on the economic news front. As well as a raft of US economic data which culminates with Friday's non-farm payrolls figures for February, investors have the monthly policy meeting from the European Central Bank to monitor.

Asian investors also are watching this week's meeting of China's ceremonial legislature, the National People's Congress, for any signs the ruling party is ready to follow through on an economic reform blueprint issued in November to give markets a "decisive role" in the economy.

Benchmark US crude for April delivery was down 1.11 US dollars to 103.81 US dollars a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped 2.33 US dollars to close at 104.92 US dollars a barrel yesterday.

In currencies, the euro inched up to1.3750 US dollars from 1.3736 US dollars late yesterday. The dollar rose to 101.76 yen from 101.54 yen.


From Belfast Telegraph