Global equities are up led by emerging markets, treasuries and gold a bit lower, and the Ruble higher as Putin Sees ‘No Need’ for Military Force in Ukraine.
Vladimir Putin on Tuesday appeared to step back from the brink of confrontation with the west when he told a televised news conference that tensions that could have led to military intervention in Ukraine had “dissipated”.
Speaking about the possible use of Russia’s armed forces, Mr Putin said: “The tense situation in the Crimea, associated with the possible use of the armed forces, just dissipated, the need for that did not arise. The only thing which was necessary, and which we did, was to strengthen the protection of our military installations . . .
“Therefore I believe that it will not be necessary for us to do anything like that in eastern Ukraine.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Moscow said it had ordered troops “involved in military exercises” to return to their bases following a day of international pressure over its creeping invasion of Crimea. However, there was no immediate confirmation that Russian forces had indeed retreated.
The pullout of troops ordered on Tuesday did not cover forces deployed in Ukraine. A Kremlin press release said: “Supreme commander Vladimir Putin gave the order to the troops taking part in military exercises in the west and central military districts to return to their permanent bases.
Bloomberg reports Ruble Rebounds With Russia Bonds as Putin Calms Ukraine Concerns
The ruble rebounded, Russian stocks surged and government bond yields tumbled after President Vladimir Putin said he’s not planning on sending troops to Ukraine, easing investors’ concern the standoff will escalate.
There is no immediate need to send troops to Ukraine and Russia is not considering adding the Crimea to its territory, Putin told a press-conference in the Moscow region today. The ruble was the worst-performing currency worldwide yesterday and bond yields soared after troops took control of the Crimean peninsula, where Russia keeps its Black Sea fleet. The central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates 150 basis points yesterday in a bid to quell market volatility.
“Putin’s stand has become clearer to the markets,” Vladimir Miklashevsky, a strategist at Danske Bank A/S in Helsinki, said in e-mailed comments. “There is some optimism that the geopolitical crisis may be soon over and fear of war eases.”
The Micex Index gained 5.3 percent to 1,356.54 at the close of trading in Moscow, snapping five days of declines, including yesterday’s 11 percent slump. U.S.-based exchange-traded funds investing in Russian equities have lost 20 percent of their total assets this year, the biggest drop among 46 country-specific ETFs tracked by Bloomberg.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock