FILE PHOTO: Russian Rouble coins are seen in this illustration taken, February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Haven demand boosted bond yields along with the dollar and yen while the euro sank after Russian President Vladimir Putin put nuclear-armed forces on high alert on Sunday, the fourth day of the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.
The ramp-up in tensions heightened fears that oil supplies from the world’s second-largest producer could be disrupted, sending Brent crude futures up $4.21 or 4.3% at $102.14. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up $4.58 or 5.0% at $96.17 a barrel.
U.S. and European stock futures sank, but Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly higher in volatile trading, buoyed by Wall Street gains from Friday, when the S&P 500 closed up 2.51%, said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Australia.
“We had a deluge of very negative information over the weekend,” Rodda said. “My sense is there’s not going to be much staying power behind this particular move (in Asia-Pacific stocks), considering we’re talking about financial stability risks, and sprinkle over that the threat of nuclear war.”
“Volatility is heightened,” he said. “Price action is incredibly choppy.”
U.S. emini stock futures were pointing to a 1.57% drop at the restart, while pan-European EURO STOXX 50 futures lost 2.83%.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.48%, recovering from an earlier loss. Australia’s benchmark added 0.64% after also being down at one point. Chinese blue chips, though, slipped 0.21%.
MSCI’s index of regional stocks eked out a 0.09% gain.
Meanwhile, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield fell about 6 basis point to 1.92%, and equivalent Australian yields also retreated about 6 basis points, to 2.18%.
The euro slid 0.9% to $1.1170 and 0.87% to 129.065 yen, while the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars sank 0.66% and 0.76%, respectively.
The rouble tumbled 29.37% to a record-low 119 per dollar.