8/9/2018, 8:35 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Ruble falls to 21-month low on US sanctions

Accusations against the Kremlin for the poisoning of its former spy Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain, which led to a round of punitive measures by the United States, accelerated the selloff in the Russian currency on Thursday. The ruble touched 66.283 per dollar, a level last seen on November 15, 2016. The sharp depreciation also comes amid a wide shift in emerging markets against a broad rise in the greenback, despite high prices of oil, Russia's major export product.

The Department of State said the first part of sanctions, to be introduced on August 22, would be a ban on US sales of items that may have military applications. The second tranche is possible in case the government in Moscow fails to meet demands, including inspections. Earlier, Russia's biggest lenders Sberbank Pjsc and VTB Bank Jsc and conglomerate Sistema Pjsfc were reportedly targeted in draft legislation in the US Congress, in which more sanctions are proposed over the crises in Syria and Ukraine and the alleged meddling with the 2016 election.

The dollar jumped 1.94% to 66.139 rubles at 8:34 am CET. The euro rallied 0.74% to 76.7315, compared to the session high of 76.8368, the highest point since May 2.

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