In view of the escalation in Ukraine, the Russian stock index RTS came under massive pressure during the day. The leading index temporarily halved to 610 points. In the meantime, trading was even interrupted. The index recovered somewhat by the evening and closed at 742.91 points. That is a drop of almost 40 percent and the biggest fall in the history of the Moscow stock exchange.
Trading is set to start later on Friday after today's turbulence over Russia's invasion of Ukraine. There is no morning trading.
Gazprom is number one
Gazprom was hit particularly hard. Shares fell 26 percent because of sanctions on the controversial Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The oil and gas giant is the biggest heavyweight in the RTS, which currently includes the 43 largest listed companies in Russia.
Other energy stocks also suffered from the Russian stock market crash. The second most valuable RTS member, Nowatek, is the largest privately held oil and gas producer. The third most valued member is Nornickel, the world's leading producer of nickel and palladium, which also mines commodities such as platinum, copper, cobalt, rhodium, silver, gold and coal.
Two financial stocks were hit even harder than Gazprom & Co: the papers of the TCS Group and Sberbank. They are considered to be particularly affected by further international sanctions against the Russian financial sector.
rubles at record lows
The Russian currency also came under pressure, falling to record lows against the US dollar. In return, the dollar and euro rose by more than ten percent to 90.01 and 101.05 rubles respectively. The Russian currency was later able to limit its losses somewhat.
The Russian central bank announced interventions in the foreign exchange market. In addition, the list of collateral accepted by the central bank against central bank money has been expanded. In addition, additional liquidity for the country's banks was announced in the amount of one trillion rubles, the equivalent of eleven billion euros.