Russian markets and ruble stabilize after Putin's reassurances

Assurances by Putin seems to have calmed the markets and helped Russia's ruble and bond market recover after tanking over the last few days.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 4, 2014 at 4:54 PM
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MOSCOW, March 4 (UPI) -- Markets and investors seemed to breathe a sigh of relief after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was not planning on sending troops to Ukraine, ending days of speculation over a possible Russian invasion.

The ruble appreciated 1.1 percent to 42.20 against Bank Rossi's target basket of euros and dollars. The yield on bonds due in February 2027 also fell by 0.17 percent to 8.71 percent and the benchmark Micex Index jumped 5.3 percent, ending a five-day losing streak.

In his first statement since the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, Putin reserved the right to use force, but said it was not required at present.

“Today was the first time in a few days that the world has seen a maneuver by the Russian army that can be classified as a sort of ‘retreat’,” said Simon Quijano-Evans, London-based head of emerging-markets research at Commerzbank AG. “That alone has caused the calming.”

The ruble jumped 1.2 percent to 36.0825 against the dollar today and added 1 percent to 49.6790 versus the euro.

U.S. markets also seemed to react to the first piece of positive news after days of grandstanding by both Russia and western nations. The three major stock markets were all in positive territory, with the S&P trading at a record high of 1,873.76 at 4 p.m.

The Russian Finance Ministry said that they had cancelled a bond auction tomorrow citing “unfavorable market conditions,” according to a statement on its website.

[Bloomberg] [Businessweek]

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