US STOCKS-Futures rise as Ukraine tensions ease

miércoles 26 de marzo de 2014 07:26 GYT

* West holds off on more severe sanctions against Russia

* Facebook buys Oculus for $2 bln, shares up in premarket

* U.S. unemployment to fall below 6 pct in 2014 -Bullard

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 9.25 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as geopolitical tensions eased after Western powers agreed to hold off on more damaging economic sanctions against Russia unless it went beyond its seizure of Crimea.

* Tensions between the United States and Russia have been a major market focus in recent sessions, although the issue has not translated to protracted market losses. Investors have been concerned about the economic fallout of any escalation in the biggest East-West conflict since the Cold War, though few U.S. companies have direct exposure to the region.

* U.S. President Barack Obama said Russian forces would not be removed militarily from Crimea, although the international community still didn't recognize Russia's annexation of the region. Moscow said it was keen to maintain contact with G8 partners.

* Shares of Facebook Inc rose 1 percent to $65.51 in premarket trading. The social networking giant said late Tuesday it would buy Oculus VR Inc, a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion. That follows Facebook's $19 billion deal to buy WhatsApp in February.   Continuación...