- The Russian ruble plummeted to a record low against the dollar Thursday, after Russia attacked Ukraine.
- The dollar was up more than 7% against the Russian currency, trading at 87.127.
- A key Russian stock index fell by as much as 50%, prompting a brief trading halt.
The Russian ruble plummeted to a record low against the dollar on Thursday, after the country’s leader President Vladimir Putin ordered an attack on Ukraine.
The dollar rose by as much as 7% against the ruble until the central bank said it would intervene in the foreign exchange market with a series of emergency measures to protect the currency from going into total freefall.
“The Bank of Russia will use all necessary instruments to maintain the financial stability and business continuity of financial institutions,” it said in a statement. The ruble was last down 3.6% against the dollar around 84.01 roubles to the dollar at 05:50 a.m. ET.
Russian assets saw heavy
across the board in European trading. The country’s stock index, the Moscow Stock Exchange, by as much as 45% in early trade, leading to a second day of halt in trading activities. The dollar-denominated RTS index fell as much as 50% at one point. The MOEX and the RTS were last down around 30% on the day.
The nosedive in the Russian stock markets saw over $180 billion wiped off in value, according to Bloomberg.
Russia’s central bank also ordered brokers to suspend short-selling on the Russian exchange, as well as on over-the-counter markets, until further notice.
“Russian markets are in meltdown, chiefly on sanctions fears and the country effectively being ousted from the international financial order,” Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com, said.
In the early hours of Thursday, Russian forces launched an offensive that threatened to kill thousands of people, force millions more to flee, and destabilize much of Europe, with the consequences certain to reverberate across the world.
“The prayers of the entire world are with the people of Ukraine tonight as they suffer an unprovoked and unjustified attack by Russian military forces,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement. “President Putin has chosen a premeditated war that will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”
The invasion on Thursday was preceded by a formal request for military intervention from Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, where rebels and Russian forces have been fighting Ukrainian troops for eight years.
Stocks across the world slumped, and oil prices hit $100 a barrel after the Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
“The market reaction to these developments has been seismic, with Brent crude oil prices surpassing $100/bbl for the first time since 2014, whilst S&P 500 futures are currently down -1.92%, on top of the index’s -1.84% decline yesterday,” strategists at Deutsche Bank said in a note Thursday.
The EU will block Russia’s access to markets and technologies that are key to its economy, European President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday morningjust hours after the attack on Ukraine.
“These sanctions are designed to take a heavy toll on the Kremlin’s interests and their ability to finance war,” she said.