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Crimea vote weighs on markets as Asia suffers worst week since 2012

Hannah Smith
Written By:
Hannah Smith

Asian markets suffered their worst weekly loss since 2012 as the EU and US considered sanctions against Russia following a referendum on Crimea.

Crimea, which is under the control of pro-Russian forces, voted by a 95% majority to split from Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

The unofficial referendum has been declared illegal by Western nations, which are considering whether to impose sanctions on Russia.

The ongoing political instability hit Asian markets: the MSCI Asia Pacific shed 0.5%, extending losses of 3.5% last week, while the Hang Seng lost 0.4% and the Japanese Topix fell 1.3%.

Friday had marked the end of the worst week for the FTSE 100 since June as investors became increasingly nervous ahead of the vote on Sunday.

The FTSE finished the week down 0.4% at 6,528, its sixth straight daily loss. The 2.75% fall on the week marks the FTSE’s worst weekly performance since the week ending 21 June last year, when the blue chip index dropped 3%.

The index was dragged further down on Friday, after key markets across Asia shed more than 3% overnight on the back of escalating worries about the health of the Chinese economy.