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Russian rouble hits record low, trading on markets is suspended as Putin's forces attack Ukraine

Business Insider US

People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
People take shelter in a subway station in Kyiv, Ukraine, on February 24, 2022. Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
  • The Russian rouble plummeted to a record low against the dollar on Thursday, after Russia attacked Ukraine.
  • The dollar was up more than 7% against the rouble, trading at trading at 87.127.
  • Russia's stock index fell more than 20%, and trading on all markets has been suspended.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The Russian rouble 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 was up more than 7% against the rouble, trading at 87.127, at 2:30am ET.

Russian assets saw heavy volatility across the board in European trading. The country's stock index fell more than 20%, leading to a second day of halt in trading activities.

"Trading on all markets has been suspended. The resumption will be announced later," MOEX Group, which runs the Moscow Exchange, said in a statement just before midnight, according to Reuters.

The nosedive in the Russian stock markets saw over $180 billion wiped off in value, according to Bloomberg.

Russia's central bank has ordered brokers to suspend short-selling on the Russian exchange, as well as on over-the-counter markets, until further notice, reports said. "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 destabilise 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 on 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 on Thursday morning, just 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.

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Rand - Dollar
16.78
-1.5%
Rand - Pound
20.01
-1.2%
Rand - Euro
17.09
-0.7%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.39
-1.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-1.5%
Gold
1,738.57
-1.5%
Silver
19.20
-0.1%
Palladium
1,921.00
-1.0%
Platinum
860.00
-1.0%
Brent Crude
102.77
-10.4%
Top 40
59,826
+1.5%
All Share
65,887
+1.3%
Resource 10
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+3.1%
Industrial 25
81,232
+1.1%
Financial 15
14,367
+0.1%
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