4 Min Read
(Updates with U.S. stocks deepening losses)
* Wall St down on Ukraine fears; weak results from Ford, Amazon
* Rouble, Russian bonds lose ground
* Gold, yen, Swiss franc higher on safe-haven buying
By Barani Krishnan
NEW YORK, April 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street fell sharply on Friday as tensions between Ukraine and Russia weighed heavily on global equity markets and the rouble, while yields on the 30-year U.S. Treasury bond reached the lowest in nearly a year.
Disappointing earnings from bellwether consumer product companies Amazon and Ford fed the decline in U.S. stocks.
Gold, the Japanese yen and Swiss franc all rallied on safe-haven buying. The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond's yield fell to 3.42 percent, lowest since last June.
Russia warned Kiev on Friday that it would face justice after Ukrainian forces killed up to five pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine on Thursday.
Standard & Poor's downgraded Russia's credit rating to triple-B-minus, one level above junk. That forced Russia's central bank to raise interest rates by 50 basis points to 7.5 percent to try to head off inflation from a weakened currency.
"(The market's) a little bit tired, but then you throw in all this stuff - it's Friday, you have the weekend coming, you have the whole Russia and Ukraine thing, Putin is pounding the table, so naturally you get this risk-off mentality," said Ken Polcari, a director at O'Neil Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 162.98 points, or 0.99 percent, at 16,338.67. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 17.75 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,860.86. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 77.12 points, or 1.86 percent, at 4,071.22.
U.S. consumer shares were the weakest sector in the S&P. Amazon fell 9 percent to $306.44 after posting a jump in revenue, offset by sharp hikes in spending.
Ford Motor Co fell 3.0 percent to $15.83 after first-quarter earnings missed expectations, hurt by higher warranty costs in North America.
Russian stocks fell 1.6 percent and Russia's dollar bonds due in 2023 fell to 94.6 cents on the dollar, just off their lowest levels since issuance in September.
The rouble fell to 36.035 to the dollar, its lowest in nine days.
MSCI's measure of world stock markets was down 0.8 percent. European shares closed down 0.8 percent on concerns that the United States and Europe were readying tougher sanctions on Moscow that could lead to Russian retaliation.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 7/32 to yield 2.6623 percent.
The dollar fell to 102.02 yen, down 0.28 percent on the day and its lowest in a week. The greenback traded in a narrow range against the Swiss franc, slipping 0.07 percent to 0.8805 franc, having fallen to a one-week low of 0.8798 franc earlier in the day.
German government bonds, favored by risk-wary investors, gained in tandem with gold. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent and above $1,300 an ounce after hitting a 9-day high at $1,305.
Brent crude oil slipped 0.6 percent to $109.67 a barrel but stayed near seven-week highs. U.S. oil was off 1.2 percent at $100.69 a barrel, after plumbing a near three-week low at $102.05. (Reporting by Barani Krishnan; Additional reporting by Marc Jones and Anirban Nag in London; Editing by David Gaffen and Dan Grebler)