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Rouble trading halted as the value of the currency falls

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On Thursday, the rouble fell to its lowest level since early 2016, after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his forces to invade Ukraine, prompting the Moscow Exchange to suspend trading.

Russian forces launched missiles at several Ukrainian cities. According to officials and media, they landed troops on the country’s south coast on Thursday after President Vladimir Putin authorized what he called a “special military operation” in the east.

The rouble fell 3.6% against the US dollar to 84.0750 minutes after opening at 0400 GMT and 3.9% against the euro to a record low of 95.2425.

Trading halted on all markets. The resumption will announce at a later date.

Russian banks sharply increased their exchange rates while suspended trading on the Moscow Exchange. Alfa-Bank offered to purchase US dollars and euros for 91.44 roubles and 101.11 roubles, respectively.

The rouble was down 10.5% on the interbank market, trading at 89.71, its lowest level on record. According to the RIA news agency, Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, offered to buy euros for 116 roubles. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 5.6% to $US102.22 per barrel. Russian troops have arrived in Odesa, Ukraine’s Black Seaport, and Mariupol, Donetsk’s eastern region.

At the same time, Ukrainian military command centers in Kyiv and Kharkiv were targeted by missile strikes, according to a Ukrainian interior ministry official quoted by the Ukrainska Pravda news website.

Putin issued a stern warning on Thursday, prompting the attacks. In addition, Mr. Putin authorized special military operations in Ukraine’s Donbas region. Several explosions were heard in Kyiv before dawn, following a series of sounds similar to artillery fire shortly after Russia announced the military operation.

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