Russian Ruble Crashes, Trading Halts

The ruble dropped to a record low against the dollar as trading in the Moscow Exchange halted after President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine.

The ruble fell 3.6 percent against the dollar to 84 and 3.9 percent against the euro to 95 just before local trading was suspended.

“Trading on all markets has been suspended. The resumption will be announced later,” MOEX Group, which runs the Moscow Exchange, said in a statement.

Trading resumed about two hours after the halt, around 10 a.m. Moscow time.

The MOEX index, the country’s benchmark, dropped almost 14 percent.

In response to the currency’s plunge, the Russian central bank began an intervention in the foreign exchange market — a first since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

“To stabilize the situation on the financial market, the Bank of Russia decided to start interventions on the currency market,” the bank said on Thursday.

On Thursday, Russian forces have forwarded troops and fired missiles at several Ukrainian cities after Putin authorized what he called a “special military operation” in the area.

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