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Rouble trading suspended as currency dives after Russia invades Ukraine

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MOSCOW, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The rouble plunged to its lowest
since early 2016 on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin
ordered Russian forces to invade Ukraine, a move which led the
Moscow Exchange to suspend trading.

Russian forces fired missiles at several Ukrainian cities
and landed troops on its south coast on Thursday, officials and
media said, after Putin authorised what he called a special
military operation in the east. The rouble has slumped 3.6% against the dollar to 84.0750 , minutes after opening at 0400 GMT and slid 3.9%
to a record low 95.2425 versus the euro , before
trading was swiftly halted.

“Trading on all markets has been suspended. The resumption
will be announced later,” MOEX Group, which runs the Moscow
Exchange, said in a statement at 0452 GMT.

While trading on the Moscow Exchange was closed, Russian
banks raised exchange rates sharply. Alfa Bank offered to buy
dollars and euros at 91.44 and 101.11 roubles, respectively.

By 0542 GMT, the rouble was down 10.5% on the interbank
market at 89.71, its weakest on record. Russia’s largest lender Sberbank offered to buy
euros at 116 roubles, the RIA news agency reported.

Brent crude oil , a global benchmark for Russia’s
main export, was up 5.6% at $102.22 a barrel.

For Russian equities guide see For Russian treasury bonds see (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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