News / Economy

Stocks Rise, Yen Falls as Peaceful Crimea Vote Boosts Risk Appetite

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 17, 2014.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, March 17, 2014.
Reuters
World stocks rose from a one-month low on Monday while the yen and the prices of U.S. Treasuries fell after Sunday's referendum in Crimea passed without major violence, reducing demand for safe-haven assets.

The yen extended losses after U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday imposed sanctions on 11 Russians and Ukrainians blamed for Russia's military incursion into Crimea, including two top aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The European Union earlier had also imposed sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans on 21 officials from Russia and Ukraine.

Wall Street opened sharply higher on Monday, up more than 1 percent, rebounding from a steep decline in the previous week as concerns eased over the situation in Crimea, even as the region voted to join Russia.

“This is a classic example of too much fear and anxiety having been in the market. Last week's decline more than discounted any bad news that could be reasonably expected to come out,” said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“I don't think anyone believes that this could escalate into a shooting war or the U.S. committing troops.”

The geopolitical tension weighed on equities last week, with the S&P 500 suffering its biggest weekly loss in seven and the CBOE Volatility index jumping to its highest since early February on Friday.

World stocks also rebounded sharply from an one-month low as risky assets bounced. The MSCI world equity index , which tracks shares in 45 countries, rose 0.8 percent on the day, having hit a one-month low on Friday.

The euro, which had come under pressure after data showing euro zone consumer inflation dropped back in February to the level that triggered a surprise interest rate cut in November, recovered losses to hit session highs against the dollar.

Investors said much of the Ukraine-related selling in equities happened in the run up to Sunday's vote.

European stocks rose 1 percent and the broader Euro STOXX 600 both rose around 1.1 percent. Emerging stocks added 0.5 percent.

Fed in focus

In the latest economic data, the New York Fed's “Empire State” gage of New York manufacturing rose in March, helped by increases in new orders and inventories, though the rise was less than forecast. Separately, industrial output rose 0.6 percent in February, a far bigger rise than had been expected.

“The data gives us another kick up, since it is another sign that we're recovering from recent weather issues,” said Selkin, who helps oversee about $3 billion in assets.

With the Crimea vote out of the way, investors are now focusing on this week's Fed policy meeting, at which the central bank is expected to continue to reduce the size of its bond purchase program but alter its forward guidance.

“They are going to move away from thresholds on specific economic indicators and take a more wholistic approach that depends on subjective evaluation of a broad array of economic indicators. They are trying to move back to a more normal approach to policy,” said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies in New York.

The Fed previously said that it would not raise interest rates until joblessness fell to at least 6.5 percent, a pledge that policymakers thought would hold until at least mid-2015. But that rate hit a five-year low of 6.6 percent in January, before rising to 6.7 percent in February.

Benchmark 10-year notes fell 8/32 in price on Monday to yield 2.67 percent, in the middle of a two-month long range that has kept yields between 2.57 percent and 2.82 percent.

U.S. crude oil rose further on Monday, gaining for a third session in a row. U.S. crude oil fell 0.4 percent to $98.52 a barrel.

The dollar was up 0.45 percent at 101.78 yen, still within sight of a two-week low of 101.205 yen struck on Friday and compared to a 1-1/2-month high of 103.77 yen hit on March 7.

The euro hit session highs versus the dollar, up 0.2 percent at 1.3938.

You May Like

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9012
JPY
USD
122.90
GBP
USD
0.6400
CAD
USD
1.2582
INR
USD
63.438

Rates may not be current.