Russian stocks sank on Monday to levels not seen since 2017, weighed down by a global market selloff, threats of more sanctions and signs of continued unrest after last week’s partial mobilization.
The MOEX, a closely watched benchmark of Russian stocks, fell as much as 10% on Monday and was last down around 6% to 1,953.16, marking the weakest level since June 2017, according to Trading Economics. The index is trading under 2,000 for the first time since February, with today’s drop the worst since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February.
Tensions have been rising around Russia’s widely condemned referendums, which are taking place in four Ukrainian territories held by Russian forces. Those come as a partial draft announced by the Russian government last week has sparked protests and arrests across the country. A gunman opened fire at a recruitment center in Siberia on Monday, wounding one person, the New York Times reported.
Meanwhile, some European countries are pushing for harsher sanctions on Russia, with Poland and the Baltic states demanding new measures such as targeting luxury goods and Russian IT, cybersecurity and software, according to the Financial Times. Germany wants a ban on Russian uranium imports and a halt on European companies’ financing of metal and rare-earth mines in the country.
Russia’s MOEX index started the year at 4,091 but has lost more than 50% of its value amid sanctions put in place after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine earlier this year.
Foreigners are banned from selling their Russian stocks, with depository receipts in the U.S. and the U.K. having been halted since the invasion.
The Russian ruble has recovered ground this year after slumping against the dollar in the fallout from western sanctions after Moscow’s invasion. The ruble
was trading steady at 57.82 and has gained nearly 23% year to date.
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