* Russian news agencies say Putin orders troops in military
exercise back to base
* Euro edges higher on the reports, yen extends earlier
* No news on movement of Russian forces in Crimea
By Masayuki Kitano
SINGAPORE, March 4 The euro rose against the yen
on Tuesday following reports that Russian President Vladimir
Putin has ordered troops who took part in military exercises in
central and western Russia to return to base.
The euro rose to intraday highs versus both the yen and the
dollar after the reports by Russian news agencies, which quoted
the Kremlin spokesman.
Moscow had denied that the exercises, which began last week
and ended on schedule, had anything to do with events in
Ukraine, where Putin has said he has the right to deploy troops
to protect Russian compatriots. There was no news of Russian
troop movements in Crimea.
The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.3752, after rising to
about $1.3767 at one point. Against the yen, the euro gained 0.4
percent to 139.96 yen, having risen to as high as 140.35 yen at
The safe-haven yen slipped broadly, helping the dollar rise
0.3 percent to 101.75 yen. The greenback pulled away from
a one-month low of 101.20 yen that had been set on Monday.
"There is some unwinding of long positions in the yen and
long positions in the Swiss franc, but it's hard to tell at this
point if the trend has changed," said Satoshi Okagawa, senior
global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Risk sentiment has been hit of late by the crisis over
Russian military intervention in Ukraine, boosting safe haven
currencies such as the yen and the Swiss franc.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces have tightened
their grip on the Russian-speaking Crimea region, a move
described by U.S. President Barack Obama as a violation of
international law and of Ukraine's sovereignty.
The dollar could extend its recent fall against the yen if
risk sentiment worsens further, although the yen's gains could
be limited by speculation that the Bank of Japan might
eventually step up its monetary stimulus, said Sim Moh Siong, FX
strategist for Bank of Singapore.
"I think in the back of the market's mind...is always the
backstop, in terms of BOJ," Sim said.
Many market participants expect the BOJ to take further
easing steps at some point to achieve its 2 percent inflation
target, although expectations for the central bank to act soon
have faded recently as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda remains
doggedly positive that the economy is improving.
"If the Ukraine situation escalates, and that leads to a
global risk-off, and perhaps higher oil prices as
well...Japanese policymakers would have to reassess the economic
impact on Japan and that may prompt a policy response," he
The Russian military intervention on the Crimean peninsula
has rattled oil markets, with U.S. crude rising to its
highest settlement price in 5-1/2 months on Monday.
Trading in the Australian dollar was somewhat choppy after
the Reserve Bank of Australia kept interest rates steady at a
record low of 2.50 percent, as widely expected, and reiterated
that the most prudent course for policy was likely a period of
The Aussie dollar rose to around $0.8970 or so right after
the RBA decision, but later faltered when the RBA said in its
post-meeting statement that the Australian dollar's exchange
rate remains high by historical standards.
The Australian dollar was last steady on the day at $0.8936
, staying above a one-month low of $0.8891 that had been
set on Monday.