Continued fighting in Ukraine prompted new sanctions by NATO allies over the weekend against Russian companies, individuals and the Russian Central Bank. The USDRUB, a key currency pair used as an indicator of the health of the Russian ruble during the conflict, has appreciated 42.2% since Wednesday last week. During the same period, the GBPRUB also appreciated by 38.5%, but both pairs have since fallen. The Bank of Russia yesterday morning more than doubled interest rates to 20% in an attempt to stem the rouble’s slide as civilians queued at ATMs all weekend to withdraw funds.
On Thursday, GBPUSD fell 2%, along with other safe-haven currencies such as the Japanese yen and Swiss franc. In uncertain times, such as at the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020, markets turn to safety and reduce riskier assets. In the monetary world, these are mainly currencies linked to the raw materials of the world market. After touching 1.3273, the rate rebounded to stand above 1.3430 at the time of writing.
In the latest round of sanctions, Russian banks are to be barred from the global SWIFT network, which is the payment messaging portal for international banks. However, talks started yesterday on the Belarusian border between Ukraine and Russia, in the hope that a resolution will be found. This gave the markets some relief and the reason for the market rebound.
Have a nice day.
Author: Jack Nicholls, Senior Relationship Manager.
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