Euro rises, but markets focus remains on Ukraine By Reuters

©Reuters. Illustrative stock image of US dollar, Swiss franc, British pound and euro banknotes taken in Warsaw

By Stefano Rebaudo

Feb 23 (Reuters) – The euro appreciated against the dollar on Wednesday as investors awaited more news on the Ukraine crisis, after Western powers announced sanctions against Russia for sending troops to breakaway regions.

* The Ukrainian military said that in the past 24 hours, one soldier was killed and six wounded by pro-Russian separatist attacks with heavy artillery, mortar shells and Grad missile systems in the two breakaway regions.

* “Ukrainian headlines are currently the number one driver of the market,” said Matthew Ryan, senior market analyst at Ebury. “But if we look at the major currencies, we see that investors believe there will be some kind of peaceful solution to the crisis,” he added.

* Assuming there is no more serious escalation in Ukraine, market firm Ebury is bullish on risk currencies as countries ease restrictions dictated by the pandemic, a factor that will boost the global economy.

* The euro rebounded slightly on Tuesday after nearing its lowest level since February 3, the day the European Central Bank’s monetary stance reversal weighed on the bloc’s currency.

* Around 1330 GMT, the euro was up 0.15% against the dollar at $1.1348, after hitting a low not seen since Feb. 14 at $1.1286 on Tuesday.

* Meanwhile, the , which measures the greenback against six currency pairs, fell 0.2% to 95.898 units.

* China’s currency, the yuan, hit a new four-year high against the dollar amid signs the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is boosting foreign demand for Chinese assets.

* Haven currencies took a breather after a brief de-escalation in Ukraine, but analysts said they remained in demand.

* The yen fell 0.2% to 130.5 per euro, after hitting a three-week high of 129.34 yen on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)

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