UPDATE 1-European Factors to Watch-Equity futures steady after Crimea vote
LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - European equity futures rose on Monday, steadying after losses last week with some investors expecting that threatened Western sanctions against Russia would be limited, after Crimea's Moscow-backed leaders declared a 96-percent vote in favour of annexation by Russia.
Western powers have said the vote in Ukraine's Crimea region, which came after Russia effectively occupied the region following the ousting in Kiev of former pro-Moscow Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, is illegal and have added it will bring immediate sanctions against Russia.
However, some traders said they did not expect any immediate escalation in the tensions as Western powers and Russia settle down to negotiations concerning Crimea.
"Both sides will be fully aware that the other has the potential to cause a significant amount of pain for the other, which is why neither will want to throw the first punch. The reality is that we're likely to see a long drawn out stand-off between the two, which traders will eventually become bored of and move on to the next thing," said Alpari market analyst Craig Erlam.
Germany's DAX futures contract was up by 0.5 percent at 0730 GMT, the Euro STOXX 50 futures contract rose 0.3 percent while France's CAC futures edged up by 0.1 percent.
"People are not panicking. Much of the Crimea news had been priced in last week and the market is now just calming itself down," said Darren Courtney-Cook, head of trading at Central Markets Investment Management.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index, which rose 16 percent in 2013, closed down by 0.7 percent at 1,284.32 points on Friday - marking its lowest level since early February. The index also fell 3.2 percent over the week - marking its worst weekly loss since late January.