Ruble sinks 26% after SWIFT sanctions against Russian banks, Rupee crashes 40 paise

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The Russian ruble or rouble is the official currency of the Russian Federation. Creative: Onmanorama

Tokyo: The ruble sank nearly 26% against the U.S. dollar early Monday after Western nations moved to block Russian banks from the SWIFT global payment system.

The ruble was trading at a record low 105.27 per dollar, down from about $84 per dollar late Friday.

Over the weekend, Japan joined the moves by the U.S. and other western nations to impose more sanctions against Russia.

Restrictions on the Russian central bank target its access to more than $600 billion in reserves the Kremlin has at its disposal. They hinder Russia's ability to support the ruble as it plunges in value.

Sanctions announced earlier had taken the Russian currency to its lowest level against the dollar in history.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions in eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear forces to be on high alert in response to what he called "aggressive statements" by leading NATO powers over the Ukraine conflict.

Rupee crashes 40 paise

The rupee tumbled 40 paise to 75.33 in early trade on Monday, tracking surge in crude prices amid escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

At the interbank forex market, the local currency opened sharply lower against the dollar. It was moving in a tight range of 75.78 and 75.70. In early deals, it was trading at 75.73, registering a fall of 40 paise over its previous close.

In the previous session, the rupee had gained 27 paise to settle at 75.33 against the US dollar.

The dollar index, which gauges the greenback's strength against a basket of six currencies, was trading 0.78 per cent higher at 97.37.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude futures surged 4.24 per cent to USD 102.08 per barrel.

On the domestic equity market front, the 30-share Sensex was trading 709.15 points or 1.27 per cent lower at 55,149.37, while the broader NSE Nifty fell 198.15 points or 1.19 per cent to 16,460.25.

Foreign institutional investors were net sellers in the capital market on Friday, as they offloaded shares worth Rs 4,470.70 crore, as per stock exchange data.  

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