MOSCOW, April 15 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble fell about 2% against the dollar on Thursday, giving up gains made earlier this week as the threat of U.S. sanctions on Moscow reared its head again, with new measures expected imminently.
The United States may announce sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday for alleged interference in U.S. elections and malicious cyber activity, targeting several individuals and entities, people familiar the matter said on Wednesday.
One source said aggressive new measures targeting Russia’s sovereign debt were expected.
By 0711 GMT, the rouble was 1.4% weaker against the dollar at 76.92, falling well away from the two-week high hit in the previous session, and earlier losing more than 2% to 77.55.
It had lost 1.4% to trade at 92.20 versus the euro , earlier clipping a more than five-month low of 92.85.
Russian sovereign dollar bonds lost 2.8 cents, hit by the report on new sanctions.
A phone call between U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday had eased fears of imminent sanctions and the rouble was boosted by Biden’s proposal for the two leaders to hold a summit to tackle a raft of disputes.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was steady at $66.58 a barrel, offering limited support to Russian stock indexes, which were falling.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 2.9% to 1,447.0 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.2% lower at 3,534.5 points.
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
Reporting by Alexander Marrow; editing by Katya Golubkova and Gareth Jones