• Russian Rouble (RUB) extends losses
  • Russian sanctions hit the economy
  • US Dollar (USD) rises on safe haven flows
  • US ADP payroll data & Fed Powell speaks

The US Dollar Russian Rouble (USD/RUB) exchange rate is on the rise again on Wednesday.  The pair settled +7% higher yesterday at 101.2, building on gains of 14% on Monday. At 10:30 UTC, USD/RUB trades +6.3% at 107.65.

The Russian Rouble continues to fall as Western sanctions hammer the Russian economy. The West has excluded Russian backs from the SWIFT international banking system, a move which is hitting Russia on all levels.

Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank has closed its European business after significant cash outflows following the Russian invasion into Ukraine. The bank, which was listed on the London stock exchange has lost 97% if its value over the past two weeks.

The Russian stock market will remain closed for a third straight day after the Russian central bank hiked interest rates to 20% in an attempt to support the tanking currency.

The US Dollar is rising across the board. The US Dollar Index, which measures the greenback versus a basket of major currencies trades +0.27% at the time of writing at 97.67 marking its third straight day of gains.

Demand for the US dollar is on the rise as investors seek out its safe have properties amid the ongoing Russian invasion and as sanctions threaten global growth.

In addition to safe haven flows, upbeat data has also supported the greenback. US ISM manufacturing PMI increased by more than forecast in February to 58.6, a rise from 57.6 recorded in January and ahead of the 58 level expected by analysts.  The level 50 separates expansion from contraction.

Today Russia, Ukraine headlines will remain a key driver of sentiment in the FX markets. Attention will also turn to ADP payroll data for clues on the health of the labour market ahead of Friday’s non-farm payroll report.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is also due to testify before Congress. Any comments about how the Fed plans to bring inflation down in light of the latest Ukraine developments will be watched carefully.