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Russian stocks nosedive

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As trading resumed on the Moscow Exchange, the Russian stock exchange fell by 50%.

The indices fell after the Moscow Stock Exchange announced that trading would resume at 10:00 a.m. (12.30 pm IST).

The bourse had previously suspended trading due to tensions between Ukraine and Russia.

  • Gazprom, Russia’s largest stock by market capitalization, fell 54% to 129.50 rubles.
  • Rosneft dropped 59% to 178.65 rubles.
  • Novatek was down 48% to 702.80 rubles.
  • Sberbank dropped 57% to 89.59 rubles.
  • Lukoil dropped 47% to 3,173.50 rubles.
  • The dollar-denominated RTS index fell 49.93% on the day to a low of 614.19. MOEX,
  • Another Russian index, lost 45.21% of its value and now trades at 1,690.13.

Earlier in the day, the exchange issued a one-line statement on its website that stated, in part, “Moscow Exchange has suspended trading on all of its markets until further notice.”

The resumption coincided with reports that Russia’s military had destroyed Ukraine’s air defense assets and airbases.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the Russian strikes have “suppressed the Ukrainian military’s air defense means,” and the infrastructure of Ukraine’s military bases has been rendered inoperable. It denied that a Russian warplane had been shot down over Ukraine.

Due to Defender of the Fatherland Day 2022, there was no trading in Russian stocks on Wednesday.

In a release, the exchange had said: “On February 23 and March 8, 2022, all securities that were not traded on that day will have their standard indicators – including closing price, admitted quote, and market prices – calculated and disclosed using current methodologies.”

There are fears that if the Ukraine crisis worsens, the West will impose additional sanctions, putting a damper on the country’s oil exports. So far, a few countries have announced sanctions against Russian banks, debt markets, and wealthy Russians.

The United States announced new restrictions on trading Russian government debt. Five Russian banks and three billionaires have been sanctioned by the United Kingdom. Japan announced a ban on the issuance of Russian bonds in Japan, as well as the freezing of the assets of certain Russian individuals.
Germany also announced the suspension of certification of the Nord Stream 2 Russian gas pipeline. More sanctions were expected as a result of Russia’s recent military support for Russian-backed separatists and recognition of the two Ukrainian regions as independent.

It is expected to hit the third-largest country, which exports about 5 million barrels of crude oil per day, with more than half going to Europe and 42% to Asia.

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