Russian stocks sink and ruble plunges as conflict fears intensify

An Ural-5323 off-road truck with a battalion of S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missile systems redeploys from Russia’s Khabarovsk Territory to Belarus to take part in a joint military exercise held by the Union State of Russia and Belarus and aiming to simulate repelling an external attack on its border, cutting possible supply lines for invaders as well as detecting, containing and eliminating their combat as well as subversive and reconnaissance units.
Russian Defence Ministry | TASS | Getty Images

The stand-off between Russia and the West over Ukraine sent Russian assets tumbling on Monday.

Approaching noon in Europe, the MOEX Russia Index had dropped around 7% and is now down more than 15% year-to-date. The Russian RTS Index was down 8.8% on the day and around 20% lower so far in 2022.

The Russian ruble was down 1.5% against the dollar at 78.53, its lowest since late 2020.

Russian assets have been mired in volatility in recent weeks after a build-up of around 100,000 Russian troops along the Ukrainian border sparked fears from Western powers that Moscow was planning an invasion, an allegation the Kremlin has persistently denied.

Both the U.S. and U.K. over the weekend threatened severe economic sanctions in the event of any incursion into Ukraine by Russian forces. Both countries have withdrawn diplomatic staff from their embassies in Kyiv.

Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and chairman of the International Advisory Council at the Center for Social and Economic Research, tweeted Friday that Russian assets could fall further.

 

“So far, the Russian RTS stock index in USD has only fallen 27% from its high point on October 27 before Putin started threatening Ukraine,” Aslund said. 

“It has far more to fall. In 2008, it fell by 80% from May to October (Georgia war + global financial crisis). Putin could not care less.”



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