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Lacker Watching Ukraine for Signs Growth Would Be Harmed

March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said he is watching instability in Ukraine for any signs of harm to economic growth.

“It’s something I’m watching really carefully for potential implications for growth,” Lacker said today, answering questions during a conference in New York.

“So far, commodity markets seem to absorb the news reasonably well,” Lacker, who doesn’t vote on policy this year, said to reporters after the conference. “That’s where I see the potential for risks but they seem quite manageable at this point.”

West Texas Intermediate crude tumbled the most in two months as Brent crude dropped amid speculation that tension between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, won’t disrupt oil supplies. Russian President Vladimir Putin said there’s no immediate need for the country to invade Ukraine.

Emerging-market stocks rose, following the biggest slide in a month, after Putin ordered the end of military exercises. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.6 percent to 956.19 after yesterday’s 1.6 percent slump.

Ukraine’s UX Index jumped 9.5 percent, leading gains among 94 global equity gauges tracked by Bloomberg. Russia’s Micex Index climbed the most in four years and the ruble rebounded from a record low, while stock benchmarks in Hungary, Turkey and Poland rallied at least 2.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Caroline Salas Gage in New York at csalas1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net

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