World stocks fall on Russia-Ukraine concerns


MUMBAI, India (AP) — Worries over Russian troops amassing near the Ukraine border caused a sharp sell-off in global stock markets on Wednesday.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX dropped 1.2 percent and the FTSE 100 in London shed 1.1 percent. France's CAC was down 1 percent. U.S. markets looked set for another day of losses. Dow futures were down 0.3 percent at 16,319 and S&P 500 futures slipped 0.3 percent to 1,908.

ASIA's DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 1.1 percent to 15,159.79 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.3 percent to 24,584.13. The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.3 percent to 2,060.73 and China's Shanghai Composite gave up 0.1 percent to 2,217.46. Markets in Southeast Asia, Australia and India also lost ground.

UKRAINE JITTERS: Global markets dropped after news reports of a buildup of Russian troops on the Ukraine border. On Wednesday, Poland's prime minister said he has information indicating that there is a growing threat of a "direct intervention" by Russia in Ukraine. The developments come after the most recent round of sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and Europe. Russia has reportedly called for a meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

ANALYST TAKE: "With each escalation of this crisis the scope for any type of mis-step increases exponentially, and that remains a real concern," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.

EYES ON OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude for September delivery was up 22 cents to $97.55 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. With winter a few months away, Europe's recovering economy remains dependent on Russian natural gas for heat and electricity. Germany imports nearly all its natural gas from Russia, and France also gets a significant amount of its energy needs from Russia. "Europe's economy is far more exposed to Russia than the U.S.," said Randy Frederick, a managing director at Charles Schwab.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 102.38 Japanese yen from 102.61 late Tuesday. The euro dipped to a nine-month low of $1.3340 from $1.3371.