Apr 14 - Russian stocks and the rouble fall sharply on fears of Russian military intervention and more western sanctions against Moscow. As Sonia Legg reports the crisis is hurting other markets too.
Russian markets tumbling again as the crisis in eastern Ukraine escalates. Nikita Bekasov is from the Moscow Exchange (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) MOSCOW EXCHANGE SPOKESMAN NIKITA BEKASOV, SAYING: "Today against the geopolitical background and heightening tensions we've seen the stock market and the rouble fall. The fall of the rouble index is more than one percent, while the dollar index is up two percent." It was the prospect of civil war in Ukraine that triggered the alarm, after pro-Russian separatists refused to end their occupation of state buildings. The country's key bonds stayed under pressure too as the cost of insurance against default increased. Investor uncertainty wasn't confined to Russia. A sell-off in Asia was followed by one in Europe - the Dax down 0.7 percent at one point. German-listed firms have some of the biggest links to Russia. Fidel Helmer is from Hauck and Aufhaeuser. (SOUNDBITE) (German) CAPITAL MARKETS EXPERT, HAUCK & AUFHAEUSER PRIVATE BANK, FIDEL HELMER, SAYING: "Believing is not the same as knowing, but I am afraid the situation is going to get worse and we will have to put up with very cautious markets over the next couple of weeks at least." A $6 billion copper mine sale from Glencore Xstrata to China helped cushion the falls. But the prospect of further sanctions against Moscow is weighing heavy. Anything which significantly hurts Russia is quite likely to harm its trading partners too.