Russian central bank steps in after ruble falls to record low
The regulator suspends currency trading as Ukraine crisis sends markets into freefall
The Central Bank of Russia suspended trading in the foreign-exchange markets on Thursday. The ruble plunged to a record low after President Vladimir Putin ordered his country’s military to conduct a special operation in the Donbass region.
The Russian currency dropped 6% to 86 rubles per US dollar early Thursday – the lowest level on record.
Both Moscow’s and St. Petersburg’s stock exchanges suspended all trade in rubles after quotes reached the trading band limits set by the exchange itself.
“To stabilize the situation on the financial market, the Bank of Russia decided to start interventions in the foreign exchange market, expand the Lombard list, and conduct operations today to provide additional liquidity to the banking sector,” the regulator said in a press release.
According to the announcement, the regulator will ensure the maintenance of financial stability and the business continuity of financial institutions by using all necessary tools.
The Russian central bank added that the country’s financial institutions have a clear plan of action for any scenario.
Russia is currently holding vast gold and foreign-exchange reserves worth over $600 billion that could be used to prop up the rapidly depreciating national currency if required.
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