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Ruble falls sharply in value against euro amid Crimea tension

AFP , Thursday 6 Mar 2014
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The Russian ruble on Thursday fell sharply in value against the euro after Crimea's pro-Russia authorities announced they wanted to join Russia and international talks failed to reach consensus.

The ruble lost value to trade 50.06 rubles to the euro at 1445 GMT, 0.5 rubles more than the closing price the day earlier, with the pressure increased by optimistic comments by ECB chief Mario Draghi on the eurozone.

The ruble also lost value to trade at 36.186 rubles to the dollar, a rise of 0.1425 rubles from the day earlier.

The Russian currency did not reach its record lows of Monday when the Russian financial markets panicked after the upper house of Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin permission for military intervention in Crimea.

The "black Monday" saw the euro reach a peak value of 51.20 rubles and the dollar rise to 37 rubles, breaking a record set during the economic crisis of 2009. The Moscow stock markets also plunged by more than 10 percent.

On Thursday, investors reacted to the request by the pro-Russian parliament in Crimea for Putin to consider its request to join Russia, a measure set to be put to a referendum in the peninsula this month.

The euro grew in strength against the ruble after ECB president Mario Draghi told a news conference that the central bank had increased its 2014 growth forecast for the eurozone to 1.2 percent .

The Moscow stock markets closed down Thursday. Moscow's benchmark MICEX dropped 0.97 percent and the other exchange, the RTS, fell 1.47 percent.

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