Russian stocks down after US sanction announcement

Russia’s Micex stock market fell to 3.5% while the dollar-denominated RTS index lost 4.3% in early trading, following US president Obama’s announcement of further sanctions.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Bank Rossiya, well known for its close ties to the Kremlin, said that Visa and MasterCard have stopped providing services for payment transactions for its clients – without notifying the bank.

At the same time, European stock markets were slightly higher. The FTSE 100 index is up some 5 points at 6548.29 while Germany’s Dax has added 20 points, up 0.2% at 9316.15, and France’s CAC is nearly 8 points ahead at 4335.7, also a 0.2% gain.

After Obama’s announcement, however, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s announced that they were changing the credit outlook on Russia to negative from stable, both rating the country BBB.

Russia’s finance minister Moiseev commented: “For now, I see no severe consequences for the financial sector.” At the same time, Russian foreign ministry Lavrov said that the sanctions were “unlawful” and likely to create barriers.

Reacting to the news, president Putin said Russia should refrain from retaliating against US sanctions for now.

Meanwhile, Reuters published a list of European companies with exposure to Russia, which include: Coca Cola, UniCredit, Societe Generale, Banco Santander, Adidas, Eni and many others.

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