The Russian ruble held near a 17-month high against the dollar on Friday after President Vladimir Putin said Russia won’t respond to US sanctions by expelling Americans.
At 8 a.m. ET, the ruble is stronger by 1.02% to 61.027 against the dollar. It is down 18% against the dollar this year, and slid against the greenback early on Friday ahead of Putin’s comments. Russia had announced plans to kick out 35 American diplomats.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama announced sanctions after US intelligence agencies found evidence of Russian cyberhacking to influence the November election.
Obama ordered that 35 Russian diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Washington and the Russian Consulate in San Francisco be removed from the US. He closed Russian compounds in New York and Maryland in response to what he said was harassment of American diplomats in Moscow.
President-elect Donald Trump responded Thursday to the sanctions, saying that it’s “time to move on,” but that he’ll meet with intelligence officials to discuss Russian involvement in election hacks anyway.
In other currency news, the euro spiked against the US dollar, reportedly moved by a computer-generated order, according to Marc Chandler, head of global FX strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman. In the Asian trading sessions, the euro leapt from about $1.05 to over $1.0650 in a few minutes. At 8 a.m. ET, it traded near 1.0537.
It’s quiet elsewhere in markets, with the news flow light before New Year’s Eve.