Stock markets around the world were mostly flat on Wednesday as investors digested comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin that indicated a possible easing to geopolitical concerns over Ukraine that have recently weighed on investors.
Putin said he was ready to discuss a way out of the Ukrainian crisis and called on separatists in east Ukraine to postpone a May 11 referendum on the status of the mostly Russian-speaking region.
A NATO official said, however, that there was no indication that Russian military forces were withdrawing.
Gold, viewed as a safe-haven asset, fell 0.8 percent, while the US dollar rose slightly against a basket of currencies, though it remained near a six-month low.
At the same time, Euro zone bond yields edged up after Putin’s comments which took the shine off German Bunds. Investors see them as one of the safest instruments in the world.