* FTSE 100 rebounds after Putin speech
* FTSE 100 moves above 200-day moving average level
By Sudip Kar-Gupta
LONDON, March 18 Britain's top equity index rose
on Tuesday to recover from earlier losses, as stock markets
rebounded after a speech from Russia concerning tensions with
its neighbour Ukraine.
The blue-chip FTSE 100 index was up by 0.3 percent,
or 21.06 points, at 6,589.41 points in mid-session trading.
The index had been in negative territory for much of the
day, but then rallied after Russian President Vladimir Putin
said Russia did not want to seize more of Ukraine after
approving plans to make Crimea part of Russia.
Putin also said that while Russia would look to defend its
own interests, Russia would never seek to start a confrontation
with Western powers.
"It's not quite as aggressive as some people had thought,"
said Mark Ward, head of execution trading at Sanlam Securities.
In spite of the FTSE's rebound, the index remains below its
2014 peak of 6,867.42 points which was reached in late January.
The FTSE rose 14.4 percent in 2013 to post its best annual
gain since 2009. However, although many traders expect the index
to hit a record level of 7,000 points later in 2014, it has
failed to break above the 6,900 point level so far this year.
Logic Investments' trading director Darren Easton said he
would only buy back into the FTSE 100 if it rose and held above
the 6,600 point level.
"If it does not get back above 6,600, I'll leave it alone
for now," he said.
However, some other technical traders saw support for the
FTSE coming in from the fact that the index's rebound had pushed
it above its 200-day simple moving average level - often used by
such traders as a sign that a market's decline has run its