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Ruble Weakens on Renewed Sanctions Concern: Russia Reality Check

As markets react in real time to Russia’s incursion into Crimea and the annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, the ruble weakened for a third day on concern further economic sanctions will be imposed on Russia.

The ruble lost 0.4 percent to 34.34 against the dollar by 6 p.m. in Moscow, paring its gain since Feb. 28, a day before President Vladimir Putin’s incursion, to 4.5 percent. President Barack Obama and U.K. Premier David Cameron said Russia must support a cease-fire, prevent the transit of fighters across the border and engage in a road-map for talks. More sanctions will follow if Putin fails to take those steps, they said.

The chart shows the performance of stocks, bonds and the ruble, along with indicators of Russian investment risk. The yield on ruble bonds due February 2027 rose two basis points to 8.73 percent, giving an advance since Feb. 28 of 37 basis points. The Micex Index fell 1.1 percent to 1,483.41, trimming the increase in the period to 2.7 percent.

The top panel displays the value of the Micex Index of 50 Russian equities, government debt in the Bloomberg Russia Local Sovereign Bond Index, and the ruble relative to the dollar. Credit default swap rates on Russian bonds due in five years appear in the bottom panel. The yield gap between Russian debt and U.S. Treasuries and the one-month implied volatility of the ruble are also tracked.

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