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European stocks, ruble slide on Ukraine crisis

European stock markets and the ruble slid on Monday as investors reacted to the escalating crisis between Kiev and Moscow, dealers said. Sentiment was rocked after Ukraine declared a "full-scale" military operation against pro-Russia forces, amid deadly clashes in its restive east. Nearing midday, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index sank 0.82 percent to stand at 6,508.63 points. Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 1.06 percent to 9,216.14 points and in Paris the CAC 40 index lost 1.0 percent to 4,322.33 compared with Friday's closing levels.

Ruble falls, hit by Ukraine crisis and faltering economy

The Russian ruble and stock market fell on Monday under the pressure of rising tension between pro-Russia forces and the Kiev authorities in eastern Ukraine, and as the Russian economy flirts with recession. "Today emotions broke out on the markets with new force," said Denis Davydov, an economist at Nordea bank, quoted by the Interfax news agency. "The further development of events in eastern Ukraine will have a decisive effect on the market trading as long as the outflow of ruble assets continues," Davydov said.

Russian markets, ruble fall over Ukraine crisis

The Russian stock markets and the ruble fell in early trading on Monday after clashes between pro-Russian forces and the Kiev authorities in eastern Ukraine. Western powers blame Russia for stirring up the trouble. At about 0730 GMT, Moscow's benchmark MICEX, which is denominated in rubles, had fallen 1.08 percent and the RTS, which is denominated in dollars, had fallen 2.03 percent. Shares in Gazprom energy giant had fallen 1.69 percent.

Russian assets down sharply on Ukraine conflict fears

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian stocks and the ruble fell sharply on Monday as Ukraine prepared to fight pro-Russian rebels, heightening fears of Russian military intervention and more western sanctions against Moscow. At 0800 GMT (4 a.m. EDT) the ruble-denominated MICEX index <.MCX> was down 1.6 percent to 1,340 points and the dollar-denominated RTS index <.IRTS> fell 2.6 percent to 1,173 points.

Russian oil firm says Asian buyers willing to use euros

By Vladimir Soldatkin and Florence Tan MOSCOW/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Russian state-controlled oil producer Gazprom Neft said it had received positive responses from Asian clients about the possibility of using euros as a settlement currency instead of the dollar. Company head Alexander Dyukov said this week Gazprom Neft had broached the idea of dropping the dollar, traditionally the currency of choice for the global energy sector, in response to a possible new round of Western sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea.

Russia's central bank right to shore up ruble short term: World Bank

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia's central bank made the right decision to defend the ruble in the short term and prevent excessive volatility in the exchange rate when the Ukraine crisis escalated, a senior official at the World Bank said on Wednesday. The Russian Central Bank was forced in early March to halt its shift towards inflation targeting and instead tame the ruble's fall after Russia seized and annexed Ukraine's Crimea. Since then, the bank has spent nearly $30 billion in currency interventions.

Gazprom Neft CEO says Russian oil company could look eastward if sanctions hit

By Katya Golubkova ST PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) - Gazprom Neft has not been affected by Western sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea but is ready to move away from dollars in its contracts and to redirect oil flows to Asia if needed, the CEO of Gazprom's oil arm said.

Stress tests show Russia's banks to survive foreign markets closure: central bank

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Stress tests done by the Russian central bank have shown that the country's banks would survive if their access to foreign markets was closed as a result of possible sanctions against Russia, a central bank senior official said on Friday. "Our estimates show that the system will operate," First Deputy Central Bank Governor Alexei Simanovsky told the upper house of parliament. "Stress tests have shown that we will survive."

Analysis: Russia sell-off spurs hunt for bargains

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Daniel Bases NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rising tension between Russia and the West has rattled the country's stock and bond markets, but some big money managers see the turbulence as an opportunity. Russia's equity market has plummeted 18 percent so far this year. Foreigners dumped the country's stocks, bonds and the rouble following the early March invasion of Crimea, a territory of Ukraine. It now faces economic sanctions that could worsen if the crisis escalates.

Russian economy may shrink 1.8% on Ukraine crisis: World Bank

Russia's economy could contract by up to 1.8 percent this year because of the crisis in Ukraine, the World Bank said Wednesday. The estimate amounts to one of the starkest warnings yet of the potential economic risks for President Vladimir Putin from his intervention in Crimea. The Russian economy was already slowing sharply before the crisis over Ukraine, with analysts saying that Putin's failure to enact structural reforms was having a direct negative impact on growth rates.
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