* Stocks rise on efforts to resolve Ukraine crisis
* Euro hits year high after ECB signals no stimulus
* Bonds fall, gold rises, oil stabilizes
By Richard Leong
NEW YORK, March 6 World share markets rose on
Thursday, supported by hopes diplomatic efforts would cool the
crisis in Ukraine, while the euro advanced to its highest level
of the year after the European Central Bank signaled its economy
needs no additional stimulus.
The latest developments in Ukraine, while still worrisome,
have not caused investors to back away from stocks and risky
investments on a global scale, as occurred on Monday.
"The markets have adopted to this fluid situation," said
Gerardo Rodriguez, senior investment strategist for BlackRock's
Emerging Markets group in New York.
MSCI's world equity index, which tracks
shares in 45 countries, was up 0.6 percent, and the MSCI
emerging market index rose 1.2 percent.
Crimea's parliament voted to join Russia and its
Moscow-backed government set a referendum within 10 days on the
decision in a dramatic escalation of the crisis in the Ukrainian
Black Sea peninsula.
U.S. President Barack Obama took steps to punish those
involved in threatening the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Ukraine.
European central bankers offset the geopolitical worries
when, as expected, they left interest rates unchanged but
offered no signal the ECB will implement unconventional measures
such as bond purchases to avert the threat of excessively low
inflation and underpin a fragile recovery.
The Bank of England, also meeting on Thursday, kept interest
rates unchanged, seeking to give the economy more time to build
momentum before removing stimulus.
The ECB's show of restraint on monetary stimulus bolstered
the euro, boosting it to $1.3852, the highest since late
December, according to Reuters data.
The single currency bought 142.58 yen, up 1.5
percent from late on Wednesday but still below the high of
145.09 set on Jan. 1.
European stocks were also supported by the ECB's decision.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index tracking Europe's top shares
was steady at 1,344.88.
"European stocks have been quite resilient in the face of
the multiple shocks, from the Fed's tapering to the Ukrainian
crisis, even though risks seem limited," Banque Leonardo
strategist Francois Chevallier said.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average
gained 82.04 points, or 0.50 percent, at 16,442.22. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index was up 7.15 points, or 0.38 percent,
at 1,880.96. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 7.17
points, or 0.16 percent, at 4,365.14.
On Wednesday, major U.S. equity indexes were little changed,
with the S&P 500 down just 0.1 point from its record close on
Earlier, Tokyo's Nikkei closed up 1.6 percent.
Russian shares were a notable exception, falling nearly 1
percent, while the rouble weakened 0.4 percent against
the U.S. dollar at 36.1740 roubles.
Due to the resilience in stock prices, investors further
pared their holdings in less-risky U.S. and German government
bonds. The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasuries rose 4
basis points to 2.74 percent, while the yield on 10-year Bunds
gained 5 basis points to 1.65 percent.
In the oil market, Brent crude was off 18 cents, or
0.17 percent, at $107.57 a barrel. U.S. crude was last
down $0.31, or down 0.31 percent, at $101.14 per barrel.
Gold traded in a right range with investors awaiting cues
from Friday's U.S. jobs data and developments in Ukraine. It
rose $7.89 or 0.59 percent, to $1,344.90 an ounce.