Angela Merkel wasn’t in a hurry to inflict economic pain on Russia. Cautious, pragmatic and mindful of German business ties to the country, the chancellor tried to defuse the Ukraine crisis through back-channel diplomacy and frequent phone calls with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Italy’s government bonds rose, pushing 10-year yields to a record low, amid speculation demand from local investors at a sale of inflation-linked debt will be reinforced by overseas funds as the economy improves.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s deputy chided Siemens AG Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser for traveling to Moscow, saying German companies shouldn’t sell out European values to protect business with Russia.
U.S. sanctions on Russia are counterproductive and probably won’t make President Vladimir Putin bow to Western demands on Ukraine, said Gernot Erler, the German government’s coordinator for relations with Russia.
New Zealand’s dollar led gains among major currencies as investor risk appetite rose and stocks rallied after President Vladimir Putin said Russia isn’t seeking to split Ukraine further after annexing its Crimea region.