Russia’s MICEX ruble-based stock index was down 8.7% in Wednesday’s trading, and the RTS dollar-based index was down even more, a whopping 9.3%. Trading on the RTS was once again shut down, at 1 pm Moscow time, in panicked fear of total collapse — so the losses could have been even greater. The RTS banking index was down nearly 11% and Gazprom shares were down 10%. And all this occurred before the U.S. market took another major nosedive, so Lord only knows what horror may lie in store for Russia’s markets tomorrow – if, indeed, they are allowed to open. As shown above, the MICEX is down nearly 40% from just three weeks ago, crashing well below the 1,000 point psycholgical barrier two weeks ago and closing on Wednesday well below 700. But for dogged arbitrary shutdowns of its trading floor and frenzied efforts to distort its balance sheet by the Kremlin, the market’s value today could well be zero.
Meanwhile, as the world turned its back on Russian equities the utility of the Russian ruble became quite dubious, and the dollar soared against it in the same proportion that the MICEX had fallen.