Friday, March 24

Live updates: How the Russia-Ukraine crisis is impacting markets, business and the economy

Check here to find out how the crisis is impacting markets, Canadian businesses and the financial world

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World stocks are tumbling this morning and oil prices are soaring as the West ramped up sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine invasion.


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Check here for live updates on how the crisis is impacting markets, Canadian businesses and the financial world.

10:38 am

Dream of G20 going up in smoke

When Canada’s Paul Martin and America’s Lawrence Summers decided in the spring of 1999 that the world’s legacy powers and emerging economies such as China and Brazil needed a place to talk, they drew up a roster for what would become the G20.

The G20 was supposed to bring stability, but five days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it feels naive to think that a group that includes the United States, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey ever would have been able to accomplish much, writes the Financial Post editor-in-chief Kevin Carmichael.


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Over the weekend, the United States, the European members of the G20, and Canada imposed “restrictive measures” that they said would stop Russia’s central bank from “deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impacts of our sanctions.” European Commission Ursula von der Leyen emphasized the point on Feb. 27, stating that the commission will “ban the transactions of Russia’s central bank and freeze all its assets, to prevent it from financing (Vladimir) Putin’s war.”

The founders of a group created in the aftermath of a rouble crisis has now triggered one. The Russian currency collapsed by some 40 per cent, more than during the country’s financial crisis in 1998.

Canada is a small player in this scene. “The Bank of Canada does not hold any of the Russian central bank’s reserves, nor does it transact with any Russian banks,” spokesman Paul Badertsher said in an email. “The Bank of Canada has also notified the Russian central bank that we will not facilitate any transactions for them.”


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But what looks like the death of the G20 as a serious global body must be a disappointment to the globalists in Ottawa who thought they had helped to create something special. It looked that way for a little while. Then history got in the way, forcing the group to choose sides. Now they are fanning flames rather than dousing them.

— Kevin Carmichael

10:16 am

President Joe Biden’s administration on Monday banned American people and companies from doing business with the Bank of Russia, the Russian National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance.

This is just the latest in sanctions aimed at cutting off Russia financially.

“Our objective is to make sure that the Russian economy goes backwards if President Putin decides to continue to go forward with an invasion in Ukraine, and we have the tools to continue to do that,” a senior US administration official said on Monday.


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This weekend Canada, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States issued a joint statement condemning Putin’s “war of choice” and attacks on Ukraine, and committed to ensuring the removal of “selected Russian banks” from the SWIFT system.

The Financial Post’s Barbara Shecter explains why SWIFT is the financial “nuclear option” when it comes to punishing Putin. Read more here

9:55 am

Whoa, Russia’s central bank hiked its interest rate from 9.5 per cent to 20 per cent this morning before the ruble started trading.

The biggest rate increase in almost 20 years did little to save the currency which plunged nearly 30 per cent as traders struggled to price the currency amid an initial lack of liquidity.

9:33 am

Stocks are falling off the bell this morning as investors assess the fallout from a new set of sanctions imposed by the Western countries on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 188.13 points, or 0.55 per cent, at the open to 33,870.62 and is now down more 400 points.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 30.48 points, or 0.70%, at 4,354.17, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 123.80 points, or 0.90%, to 13,570.83 at the opening bell.

The TSX is down 121 points at 20,984.

Gold is up US$23 at US$1,911.

Additional reporting by Reuters, Bloomberg.



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