“Donetsk is a British city! God Save the Queen.” In a parody worthy of The Onion, an American online poll, suggested citizens of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk would like to secede and join Britain. The city, which was founded by Welsh steel worker John Hughes in the 19th century, has been the site of conflict between pro-government and pro-Russian groups recently.
Ignoring the Donetsk poll, which showed 61 percent of citizens favored accession to Britain, the European Union, the United States, Ukraine, and the Russian Federation reached an agreement on Thursday to “Refrain from any violence, intimidation, or provocative actions… All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares, and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.” Russia’s Micex index closed higher on the news; however, the gains may be short-lived as pro-Russian separatists refused to comply and continued to occupy government buildings in nine cities and towns in eastern Ukraine (including Donetsk).
Just across the Asian continent, China missed its government’s target for economic growth (7.5 percent) during the first quarter of 2014, although it exceeded the expectations of economists who had estimated growth at 7.2 percent. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.4 percent.
In the U.K, America and across the globe, news of conflict in Ukraine and slowing growth in China were trumped by positive economic data and the U.S.Federal Reserve’s reassurance it was committed to keeping interest rates low for some time. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee at its meeting on 9 April voted to maintain Bank Rate at 0.5%. The majority of indices tracked and reported by Barron’s International Recap showed gains for the week.