Asian shares jump, yen licks wounds on Ukraine relief

Thursday, 6 March 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Asian stocks jumped and the safe-haven yen licked its wounds after a sharp tumble on Wednesday, following remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin that allayed fears of an imminent military conflict in Ukraine, and revived investor risk appetite. Putin said Russia reserved the right to use all options to protect compatriots who were living in “terror” in Ukraine, but that force was not needed for now. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6%. Tokyo’s Nikkei jumped 1.5%. On Wall Street on Tuesday, Putin’s remarks helped the S&P 500 attain another record closing high. The yield on benchmark US Treasuries pulled back from one-month lows to trade at 2.6887% in Asia, hovering near its US close of 2.690%. The dollar index traded at 80.14, moving away from Friday’s two-month low of 79.688. The yen, which rallied on its safe-haven appeal this week as tensions mounted in Ukraine, remained on the back foot after a heavy reversal on Tuesday. The dollar was buying 102.14 yen, moving away from a one-month low of 101.20 hit on Monday, while the euro bought 140.29 yen, after touching a two-week low of 138.75 yen on Thursday. The euro was nearly flat on the day against the greenback at $ 1.3734, below Friday’s high of $ 1.3825. On the commodities front, US crude pulled back sharply on Tuesday as Ukraine tensions eased and was up 0.1% in early Asian trade at $ 103.40 per barrel. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $ 7,045 a ton, after gains of 1.2% in the previous session. Spot gold was nearly flat at $ 1,336.14 an ounce after dropping 1.2% on Tuesday.