Asian markets traded with deep cuts on Monday, while oil prices shot up on escalating tensions between Russia and the West after Russia bloodlessly seized a part of Ukraine.
Kiev mobilised for war on Sunday after Russia declared its right to invade its neighbour, with their forces already controlling strategically important Crimea, an isolated Black Sea peninsula where Moscow has a naval base.
US stock futures fell 1 per cent from a record high hit on Friday while Japan’s Nikkei average tumbled 2.3 per cent . MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1 per cent.
The dollar dropped to as low as 101.255 yen, its weakest in almost a month, and last traded at 101.36 yen, about 0.4 per cent below levels late last week.
On top of concerns about a military confrontation, it was not clear Ukraine’s new interim government, formed only about a week ago after pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovich had been ousted, can secure funds to avoid default.
Kiev has said it needs $35 billion over two years to avoid default, and may need $4 billion immediately. But Ukrainian Finance Minister Oleksander Shlapak said on Saturday the country is unlikely to receive financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund before April.
FIIs bought stocks worth Rs. 592 crore in the cash market on Friday, extending their buying to an 11th straight day.
Stock markets are likely to start lower on Monday according to futures trade on the Singapore Exchange. The SGX Nifty traded 0.14 per cent or 9 points lower at 6,271.50.
Rupee opens lower at 61.95 as against Friday’s close of 61.75 per dollar.
Top brokerage calls today
1) Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgrades Sun Pharma to neutral. Target Rs. 670.
2) Barclays upgrades Reliance Capital to equal weight. Target Rs. 354.
Markets start lower amid Ukraine standoff. Sensex down 37 points, Nifty slips 0.2 per cent at 6,263.
Deven Choksey, managing director of KR Choksey says traders have started building long positions ahead of elections and the weak rollover from February was on account of a sharp cut back in short positions. Nifty is likely to cross 6,350 with downsides limited to 6,100 for now, he adds.
Market analyst Saumil Trivedi says 5,900 is a major floor for the Nifty and going long may be beneficial from a risk reward perspective .