Economic sanctions impact Russian markets and shoppers

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Economic sanctions impact Russian markets and shoppers

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Russian stock indexes fell sharply on Friday as investors digested the impact of the sanctions on Ukraine.

The rouble-denominated MICEX was down 3 percent while the dollar-denominated RTS index had fallen 3.6 percent.

Negative market sentiment was reinforced by warnings from
ratings agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. They’ve both downgraded the outlook for Russia’s sovereign debt from “stable” to “negative.”

Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister had said that he did not see any immediate impact from sanctions on Russia’s financial sector or creditworthiness.

On Friday, Visa and Mastercard stopped authorising point-of-sale transactions for Bank Rossiya, which is on the list of targeted economic sanctions leaving many cardholders in shops with declined purchases.

The sanctions against Bank Rossiya has raised fears that similar actions could be taken against other Russian banks, echoing US measures against Iran or Syria.