Russian Stocks Gain With Asian Shares on Ukraine Accord
Russian shares climbed the most in more than three weeks and Asian stocks advanced after talks in Geneva produced an accord aimed at easing the conflict in Ukraine. Rubber slid to the lowest since 2009.
The Micex Index (INDEXCF) increased 2 percent to a one-week high of 1,356.54 in Moscow. The Ukrainian Equities Index rose 1.1 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.3 percent. Russia’s February 2027 bond yield slid 17 basis points to 9 percent, while the ruble weakened after its biggest gain this month yesterday. Rubber futures lost 4 percent. Financial markets in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Hong Kong were among those closed for a holiday.
Four-way talks in Geneva ended yesterday with an agreement aimed at taking the first steps toward de-escalating tensions in Ukraine, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes he won’t have to send in troops. The U.S. and its European allies demanded Russia help calm the crisis or face new sanctions, while pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine refused to give up buildings and disarm as outlined in the deal.
“Markets are rising because it looks like Russia and the U.S. are willing to agree on steps to settle the situation in Ukraine,” Bruce Bower, a partner at Verno Capital in Moscow, which manages $550 million in assets, said by e-mail.
The Micex had the biggest gain since March 25 on a closing basis, paring losses since Putin’s incursion into Crimea to 6.1 percent. The ruble slid 0.2 percent to 35.5440 per dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow, after jumping 1.5 percent yesterday. Ukraine’s hryvnia declined 1.3 percent to 11.30 against the dollar, trimming this week’s rally to 12 percent, the biggest advance worldwide.
Diplomats from Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and European Union called for illegal groups in Ukraine to disarm, return seized buildings to their owners and free occupied public buildings. In line with the pact, the government in Kiev prepared an amnesty law for pro-Russian protesters.
“A calming of the situation in the Ukraine is positive for stocks,” said Juichi Wako, a Tokyo-based equity strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc., the nation’s biggest brokerage.
The Topix rose 0.6 percent, capping a 3.5 percent increase this week in Tokyo. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index added 0.3 percent for a third day of gains. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed yesterday in New York for the biggest weekly advance since July as earnings from General Electric Co. and Morgan Stanley beat estimates.
Toyota Motor Corp. contributed to the Topix’s advance as the world’s biggest carmaker added 0.9 percent. Casio Computer Co. jumped 5 percent on a report the consumer-electronics maker’s president said the company aims to achieve record operating profit. Volume on the index was 43 percent lower than the 30-day intraday average.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330), the world’s largest contract manufacturer of chips, added 2.5 percent in Taipei after the company forecast record sales surpassing analyst estimates. SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of memory chips, added 3 percent as South Korea’s Kospi had its first increase in six days.
South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.6 percent and the won advanced 0.1 percent to 1,037.58 per dollar. The currency should continue to be market-determined and intervention should be limited to smoothing disorderly conditions, the International Monetary Fund said in a report.
The Shanghai Composite Index slipped less than 0.1 percent, leaving the gauge 1.5 percent lower in the week, the worst week in a month.
China’s one-year interest-rate swap dropped as much as nine basis points to 3.74 percent, the lowest since June, as a front-page commentary in China Securities Journal said monetary policy may be kept “relatively loose.” It dropped 22 basis points yesterday, the most since June 21, after the government said it would lower reserve requirements for some rural banks.
New home prices in China rose month on month in March in 56 out of 70 cities tracked by China’s statistics bureau, compared with 57 cities in February, according to a statement posted to the bureau’s website today.
The S&P 500 (SPX) jumped 2.7 percent for the holiday-shortened week, the most since July 12, and is up 0.9 percent for the year. The index dropped as much as 4 percent from its April 2 record as investors sold Internet and biotechnology stocks, the best performers during the five-year bull market, amid concern valuations had become too expensive before earnings.
Manufacturing in the Philadelphia region grew at the fastest pace in seven months, data showed yesterday, while other figures showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance payments hovered near a seven-year low. An index of leading indicators next week is forecast to rise.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said April 16 the central bank is committed to policies that will support economic recovery. Policy makers are unwinding the bond-buying program they have used to support the economy. They have kept their target for overnight lending between banks in a range of zero to 0.25 percent since 2008.
Rubber futures slid to 205.10 yen a kilogram, the lowest level since October 2009, on concern a global surplus will expand, before closing at 206.40 yen. The glut will be 78 percent more than estimated in December as demand slows and output in Thailand exceeds forecasts, according to The Rubber Economist Ltd., an London-based industry adviser.