Rouble set to dive, euro slides after West steps up Russia sanctions By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Euro currency bills are pictured at the Croatian National Bank in Zagreb, Croatia, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Antonio Bronic

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By Kevin Buckland

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Russian rouble was set to plunge nearly 30% to all-time lows versus the dollar on Monday, while the euro sank after Western nations announced fresh sanctions to punish Russia for its invasion of Ukraine https://www.reuters.com/world/india/war-with-ukraine-putin-puts-nuclear-deterrence-forces-alert-2022-02-27, including blocking some banks from the SWIFT international payments system.

Safe haven currencies including the U.S. dollar and yen were in demand after Russian President Vladimir Putin put nuclear-armed forces on high alert on Sunday, the fourth day of the biggest assault on a European state since World War Two.

The rouble was indicated as low as 119 per dollar, a more than 29% tumble.

The euro declined 0.83% to $1.1181, after earlier falling as much as 1.34%. The single currency lost 0.72% to 129.32 yen, and was 0.67% lower at 1.03655 Swiss franc.

“The escalating crisis in Ukraine will force markets to price in a substantially higher geopolitical risk premium, (and) that is going to leave safe havens like the USD bid,” Westpac strategists wrote in a client note.

“The Ukrainian situation is volatile, and so too is market sentiment, although a risk-averse backdrop near term appears the most prudent assumption,” meaning more downside for Australian and New Zealand dollars, they said.

The slid 0.76% to $0.71795, while New Zealand’s sank 0.82% to $0.6689.

Sterling slipped 0.29% to $1.3368.

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