* Russian, European shares rebound, rouble firms
* Putin says sees no need to use force in Ukraine for now
* Gold, yen and oil fall as tensions seen easing
By Alistair Smout
LONDON, March 4 World shares and hard-hit
Russian assets rebounded on Tuesday after Russia's president
said he saw no need to use military force in the Crimea for now,
remarks investors saw as intended to ease tensions over Ukraine.
Russian stocks and the rouble were higher
while gold and the Japanese yen, traditionally seen as
safe havens, fell.
Vladimir Putin told a news conference that Russia's use of
force in Ukraine would be a choice of "last resort" and that
sanctions being considered against Moscow by the West would be
European stocks rose, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300
index up 1.8 percent, recouping over half of Monday's
losses, which were largely driven by the Ukraine crisis.
MSCI's all-country world stocks index, which
tracks stocks in 45 countries, was up half a percent.
U.S. stock index futures were up more
than 1 percent, suggesting a higher open on Wall Street.
"It's still a very worrying situation but seems to have
calmed down a bit. That's why we're seeing a bit of a recovery,"
said Scott Meech, co-head of European equities at Union Bancaire
Russian stocks, bonds and the rouble had plunged on Monday
as Putin's forces tightened their grip in Crimea, whose
population is mainly ethnic Russian.
After Putin's news conference, the rouble-denominated MICEX
stock index was up 5.2 percent, while the rouble
rose 0.9 percent to 36.17 to the dollar.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose nearly 0.2 percent and Tokyo's Nikkei
closed 0.5 percent higher as some foreign investors
scooped up battered shares, although concerns over Ukraine kept
the market on edge.
In currency markets, the euro and the dollar gained 0.6 and
0.4 percent respectively to 140.22 and 101.85 yen. The euro rose
0.2 percent to $1.3770.
"Given three days worth of bad headlines, I think the market
was just willing to take any sort of stability it can get," said
Geoffrey Yu, a strategist with UBS in London.
Yields on top-rated euro zone government bonds rose as
demand for low-risk assets waned.
Yields on lower-rated Italian and Spanish debt held near
eight-year lows, resilient to global risk aversion to an extent
that highlights how the market's perception of their
creditworthiness has changed.
"Turn the clock back a few years and these markets would be
hit by contagion," said Nick Stamenkovic, a bond strategist at
RIA Capital Markets in Edinburgh.
"But you see more signs of growth in these countries
...(and) the (European Central Bank) has backstops in place."
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields also rose, and were
last up 4.7 basis points at 2.65 percent.
Gold, another traditional safe haven, fell after
rallying nearly 2 percent on Monday. It was last down 0.8
percent at $1,337.90.
Brent crude oil fell about 1.6 percent to $109.38 per