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Markets remain cautious amid new Russia sanctions

Daily Currency Update

Market participants' attentions remain fixated on developments in Ukraine, helping drive demand for safe haven assets like the Swiss franc, Japanese yen and US dollar. The United States, United Kingdom and the European Union imposed a slew of new sanctions on Russia over the weekend in a bid to put pressure on President Putin as fighting in Ukraine intensified in the last few days. Some Russian banks have been blocked from using SWIFT, a global payments system. Included in the ban was the Russian Central Bank which has built up large reserves of foreign currency over the past few years so this will make it difficult to support the ruble by selling these reserves, hence its dramatic drop in the early European trading session. In an effort to prevent further losses the Russian Central Bank has more than doubled interest rates today, taking them to 20% from 9.5%. The US Dollar Index was up 0.16% trading around 96.76 at the time of writing.

Key Movers

The euro remained incredibly sensitive to ongoing developments in Ukraine. While it recovered through Friday, moving back above 1.1250 it has slipped back to 1.122 as the safe-haven USD and JPY found support to start the week. The Canadian dollar strengthened slightly against its US counterpart this morning as the price of oil, one of Canada's main exports, climbed amid new sanctions on Russia. Blocking some Russian banks from using SWIFT could cause severe disruption to Russia's oil exports. However oil pared gains after reports that the US and its allies would consider releasing about 60 million barrels of crude from emergency stockpiles to extinguish any supply fears. USDCAD was down 0.13% at 1.2682 at the time of writing. While we do have a number of key market events on the docket this week, like US jobs data on Friday, many analysts expect the Russia-Ukraine crisis to dictate currency moves throughout the week.

Expected Ranges

  • EUR/USD: 1.1126 - 1.1227 ▼
  • GBP/USD: 1.3323 - 1.3422 ▼
  • AUD/USD: 0.7158 - 0.7251 ▲
  • USD/CAD: 1.2683 - 1.2809 ▼