Russian stocks rise as Ukraine talks appear to ease tensions

Moscow’s benchmark equity gauge surges 2.3 per cent to 1,359.93, trimming its recent drop

Ukrainian foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia (right) stops US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton (centre) in a hotel hallway behind the scenes to thank them for the results of a quadrilateral meeting on Ukraine that had just ended between representatives of the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union in Geneva. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Ukrainian foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia (right) stops US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton (centre) in a hotel hallway behind the scenes to thank them for the results of a quadrilateral meeting on Ukraine that had just ended between representatives of the United States, Ukraine, Russia and the European Union in Geneva. Photograph: Jim Bourg/Reuters

Fri, Apr 18, 2014, 11:00

As markets react in real time to Russia’s incursion into Crimea and the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, stocks jumped the most in three weeks after Ukraine talks brought an accord aimed at easing the crisis.

Russia’s benchmark equity gauge, the Micex Index, surged 2.3 per cent to 1,359.93, trimming its drop since president Vladimir Putin’s intervention in Crimea started on March 1st to 5.9 per cent.

The yield on government ruble bonds due February 2027 fell 13 basis points to 9.04 per cent, 68 basis points higher in the period.

The chart shows the performance of stocks, bonds and the ruble, along with indicators of Russian investment risk.

The currency lost 0.3 per cent to 35.5660 per dollar, paring the biggest gain this month yesterday.

The US and its European allies demanded Russia help calm the Ukraine crisis or face new sanctions after four-nation talks produced an accord aimed at lowering tensions in their worst standoff since the Cold War.

The top panel displays the value of the Micex Index of 50 Russian equities, government debt in the Bloomberg Russia Local Sovereign Bond Index, and the ruble relative to the dollar.

Credit default swap rates on Russian bonds due in five years appear in the bottom panel. The yield gap between Russian debt and US Treasuries and the one-month implied volatility of the ruble are also tracked.

Financial markets in Ireland, US, UK, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand are among those that are closed for a holiday.

Earlier Japanese shares rose in thin trading, with the Topix index capping its biggest weekly gain this month, after the yen fell yesterday as tensions in Ukraine eased and amid optimism about US earnings.

Toyota Motor, contributed the most to the Topix’s advance as the world’s biggest auto manufacturer added 0.9 per cent.

The Nikkei 225 Stock Average added 0.7 per cent today to 14,516.27.