TOKYO, RAW – US equity futures have sunk with the euro while the safe-haven US dollar and yen were in demand after Western nations imposed fresh sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, including blocking some banks from the SWIFT international payments system.

US 10-year Treasury futures rose a full point, while the Russian rouble indicated as much as 25 per cent weaker at a record low around 112 per dollar.

The fall in the rouble came after Russian President Vladimir Putin put nuclear-armed forces on high alert on Sunday, the fourth day of the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.

At the same time, Asia-Pacific stock markets were higher in early trade, with Australia’s benchmark rising 0.39 per cent and New Zealand’s up 0.74 per cent.

That was the knock-on effect of Wall Street gains from Friday, when the S&P 500 closed up 2.51 per cent, said Kyle Rodda, a market analyst at IG Australia.

US e-mini stock futures, though, were pointing to a 2.32 per cent drop at the restart.

“We had a deluge of very negative information over the weekend,” Rodda said.

“My sense is there’s not going to be much staying power behind this particular move (in Asia-Pacific stocks), considering we’re talking about financial stability risks, and sprinkle over that the threat of nuclear war.

“The FX market seems to be the best signal (of market sentiment) at the moment.”

The euro slid 0.9 per cent to $US1.1165 and 0.85 per cent to 129.15 yen, while the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars sank 0.76 per cent and 0.85 per cent, respectively.