Russia's ruble, Rusal, Sberbank take hits as US sanctions bite

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s ruble suffered its biggest daily fall in over three years on Monday and stocks in major Russian companies also slid, as investors reacted to a new round of U.S. sanctions targeting some of Russia’s biggest tycoons.

The sanctions, announced on Friday, target officials and businesspeople around President Vladimir Putin in an aggressive response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

 

The impact of the new measures could threaten Russia’s fragile economic recovery, which was only just beginning to take hold after a wave of sanctions against Russia introduced in response to its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

 

Russia’s currency briefly dipped more than 4 percent before recovering slightly to trade at 60.31 to the dollar at 1512 GMT, down 3.67 percent, its biggest daily percentage fall since January 2015. RUBUTSTN=MCX

 

Shares in Russia’s two biggest banks, Sberbank (SBER.MM) and VTB (VTBR.MM), fell 17.3 and 9.1 percent respectively.

 

State-owned Sberbank is traditionally seen as a barometer for the wider health of the Russian economy, and is also a creditor for businesses hit by sanctions.

Source: reuters


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