U.S. stock market not afraid of Putin

Fed Meeting

The Fed Open Market Committee will further scale back its stimulatory bond-buying program when its meeting concludes tomorrow, reducing purchases by $10 billion for the third time, according to 54 economists surveyed by Bloomberg March 14-17. Policy makers will scrap a 6.5 percent unemployment-rate target in favor of a range of economic indicators, 76 percent of the economists said.

Benchmark 10-year yields fell 1 basis point to 2.68 percent, after dropping to 2.66 percent earlier, Bloomberg Bond Trader data showed.

The Stoxx 600’s advance extended its gains to 2 percent over two days. The rally followed the index’s biggest weekly loss since January.

Kuoni Reisen Holding AG advanced 7.6 percent after Switzerland’s biggest travel company posted 2013 profit that exceeded estimates. Scania AB, a Swedish truckmaker, declined 2.1 percent after a board committee recommended rejecting Volkswagen AG’s takeover offer. Cairn Energy Plc lost 13 percent after the U.K. oil explorer said it is suspending a buyback program.

Russian Shares

The Micex Index of shares rose 4.1 percent in Moscow. The gauge of Russian stocks has climbed 8 percent over two days, the most since May 2010. The Ukrainian Equities Index surged 2.4 percent.

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose for a second day, increasing 0.6 percent. The MSCI AC Asia Pacific Index climbed 0.6 percent today, rebounding from a five-week low.

The yen advanced 0.3 percent to 101.49 per dollar after appreciating as much as 0.4 percent. The Japanese currency gained 0.4 percent to 141.06 per euro.

German Confidence

The euro dropped as a report showed German investor confidence fell for a third month in March. The ZEW Center for European Economic Research’s index of investor and analyst expectations, which aims to predict economic developments six months in advance, dropped to 46.6 from 55.7 in February. A Bloomberg of economists forecast a decline to 52.

The 18-nation European currency depreciated 0.2 percent to $1.3897.

Gold(COMEX:GCJ14) extended a decline from a six-month high as speculation that the Fed will continue cutting stimulus curbed demand for the precious metal as a store of wealth. Futures dropped 1.1 percent to $1,357.90 an ounce. Gold advanced 13 percent this year as turmoil in Ukraine and signs of slowing economic growth increased demand for haven assets.

Silver dropped 2.2 percent to $20.81 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.5 percent.

Oil jumped 1.1 percent to $99.13 a barrel on the U.S. home- building data, advancing for the third time in four days.

Dollar bonds sold by Chinese developers are tumbling after government officials said Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate Co. doesn’t have enough cash to repay 3.5 billion yuan ($566 million) of debt. That news comes less than two weeks after Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science & Technology Co. became the first company in China to default on its onshore corporate bonds.

More than 65 percent of dollar securities sold by Chinese developers this year are trading below their issue price.

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