Rouble Plunges 30% to Hit Record Low as Sanctions Scorch Russia

The Western sanctions have hit the Russian currency hard, with the rouble continuing its downward spiral, knocking up a whopping 30 percent slump against the US dollar so far.

Among a raft of other measures, what hit Moscos the hardest is the decision by the European Union, the US, and their allies to throw Russia out of the SWIFT system for international payments.

Rouble Sinks to 119.50 Against Dollar

The Russian currency plunged to its record low in the immediate aftermath of the Western move. The rouble sank to as low as 119.50 against the dollar in Asian trading on Monday morning, marking a 30 percent drop from Friday's closing.

The Russian Central Bank
The Russian Central Bank Reuters

The currency nosedived despite the Russian central bank's appeal on Sunday to financial market participants to stay calm amid speculation and rumors over a possible bank run in the country.

There have been reports that Russians forming long lines in front of banks in order to withdraw money, fearing that the government could place limits on withdrawals if the crisis worsens.

Monday's panic was in part fuelled by President Vladimir Putin's announcement that he has ordered the country's nuclear forces to remain on high alert. Putin ratcheted up the war rhetoric after the Russian forces apparently fell short of completing the goal of taking the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and with the NATO nations chipping in with bigger support for the Ukrainian resistance.

Central Bank Measures

On Sunday, the Russian central bank rolled out a host of measures to prop up domestic markets. However, analysts believe that the sanctions on currency reserves nullified the central bank's support for the rouble.

Russian ruble
Picture for representation Pixabay

"Even the gold is not liquid if nobody can use FX in exchange for it. There will be a complete collapse in the rouble today..." analysts at Rabobank wrote in a note, according to Reuters.

Making the matters worse for Moscow, the European Central Bank (ECB) said On Monday that the European subsidiaries of Sberbank Russia are likely to fail. Sberbank Russia is majority-owned by the Russian government.

"Unless the Russian central bank and Russia's largest banks - which have already been cut off from correspondent banking - find an alternative means of reaching the global financial system Russia faces Iran and North Korea-style isolation from the global economy," a leading analyst from blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs told the BBC.