The Russian rouble is still in freefall today

Courtney Goldsmith
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Russia's currency was in free fall today (Source: Getty)

The Russian rouble was still sliding today after a fresh round of US sanctions rattled markets.

The rouble fell nearly five per cent against the US dollar today with one dollar buying 63.5621 roubles, following on from a four per cent drop yesterday.

Russian stock markets were mixed, with Moscow's dollar-denominated RTS index down by 1.33 per cent at 1,080.44 at the time of writing and the rouble-denominated Moex edged up 0.28 per cent to 114.32 in rocky trading.

Meanwhile, Clearstream, a firm that processes market trades, said it will stop handling securities included in the latest bout of sanctions.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Rusal, Russian aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska's firm, dropped 8.7 per cent after halving yesterday, while trading in Deripaska's energy firm En+ was suspended in London.

Meanwhile, Glencore said its chief executive Ivan Glasneberg will step down from Rusal's board. The firm is also cancelling a deal to swap its 8.75 per cent stake in Rusal for shares in En+. Shares in the company rose nearly three per cent after falling yesterday on fears it would be hit by the fallout with Rusal.‚Äč

London-listed steelmaker Evraz also recovered after slumping yesterday, though analysts warned the rally may be short-lived.

Global markets boosted by Xi

Meanwhile, other financial markets around the globe were boosted by China's President Xi Jinping's comments that the country will look to widen market access for foreign investors.

Asian markets rallied with MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific markets outside Japan lifted about 0.7 per cent and Japan's Nikkei rose about 0.5 per cent.

Closer to home, European markets also jumped. The UK's FTSE 100 index was up 0.31 per cent at 7,217.15.

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