Market fears over Ukraine crisis ease slightly

5:43 AM, Mar 4, 2014   |    comments
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(USATODAY.com) - U.S. stock futures traded higher and global markets traded muted as investor concern at how the crisis in Ukraine may play out eased slightly Tuesday.

Oil prices settled somewhat after spiking by 2.3% Monday on the possibility of Western sanctions against Russia for its military incursion into the Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Russia is one of the world's leading energy exporters.

Benchmark U.S. crude for April delivery was down 74 cents to $104.14 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract jumped $2.33 to close at $104.92 a barrel on Monday.

Dow Jones industrial average index futures rose 0.8%, Standard & Poor's 500 index futures were up 0.7% and Nasdaq index futures added a similar amount.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.5% at 14,721.48 while China's Shanghai composite fell 0.2% to 2,071.47.

"Asia is in wait-and-see mode with traders reluctant to commit to either direction until we get another headline or a bit more clarity on the Ukraine-Russia situation," said IG strategist Stan Shamu in a market commentary.

On Monday, the S&P 500 index fell 13.72 points, or 0.7%, to 1,845.73. The Dow dropped 153.68 points, or 0.9%, to 16,168.03. The Nasdaq composite fell 30.82, or 0.7%, to 4,277.30.

Developments in Ukraine have dominated the start of what is likely to be a busy week on the economic news front. As well as a raft of U.S. economic data that culminates with Friday's nonfarm payrolls figures for February, investors have the monthly policy meeting from the European Central Bank to monitor.

Russia's benchmark Micex Index jumped 2.3% after it plunged the most since November 2008 in the prior trading session, according to Bloomberg.

Contributing: Associated

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