Russia's ruble slumps as Ukraine crisis deepens
Russia's ruble has sold off as diplomatic efforts to defuse the growing crisis around Ukraine have stalled.
Why it matters: The weakening currency — as of Wednesday it was down roughly 9% against the dollar since October — suggests some investors are dumping Russian investments because they expect the country will face new economic sanctions.
The big picture: Growing tensions between Russia and the West are increasingly moving financial markets.
- European natural gas prices, for example, have moved explosively over the last year amid concerns that President Vladimir Putin is using Russia's vast natural gas reserves as a geopolitical tool.
The latest: On Friday, U.S. officials said they had information indicating that Russia was preparing "a false-flag operation in eastern Ukraine," as a potential pretext to invade the country.
What’s next: The U.S. and its allies are preparing "a punishing" new set of financial, military and technology sanctions to put in place in the event of an invasion, the New York Times reported this month.
The bottom line: Those with Russian investments seem worried about being caught in the crossfire.