Ruble Falls as Ukraine Crisis Heats Up

The ruble slid to the lowest level in six months and stocks fell amid a growing threat of tougher sanctions on Russia as Ukraine said intensified separatist fighting was a “de facto” incursion.

The currency tumbled 1.6 percent to 36.7325 per dollar, the weakest level since March 3, when President Vladimir Putin began his intervention into Ukraine’s Crimea region. The ruble is trading within 0.8 percent of a record low. The Micex Index (INDEXCF) lost 1.9 percent to 1,420.23 by 4:38 p.m. in Moscow. Yields on Russia’s benchmark bonds climbed the most since March, while equities and currencies across eastern Europe tumbled.

The Micex erased its weekly gain after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called an emergency security meeting as rebels widened their offensive. The U.S. said Russia may be directing attacks by separatists, souring investor sentiment that improved in recent weeks on optimism that Putin would take steps to ease the conflict that’s claimed more than 2,000 lives.

via Bloomberg

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza