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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7537
JPY
USD
103.79
GBP
USD
0.6032
CAD
USD
1.0957
INR
USD
60.522

Rates may not be current.