With the ruble depreciating 50% this year, the Russian central bank decided overnight to raise its benchmark interest rate by an astonishing 6.5%. The currency crisis threatening Russia’s economy “forced” the central bank to increase rates from 10.50% to 17%. The ruble initially made gains off the news but ended up reversing course and slid below all time lows against the USD. There was also a headline out this morning that Russia is deploying nuclear weapons to be held next to the Ukrainian border.
The combination of developments out of Russia has the financial world uneasy. US equities sold off while gold was tugged in both directions and traded in a $35 range. Bids materialized in gold immediately after the Russian nuclear deployment headline but selling emerged later in the session with crude oil losing 3.25% on the day. Support for gold is coming in at $1,182 and firm resistance is in place at the 100 day moving average of $1,232. Silver has fallen 7% over the past two trading days but found intraday support at $15.50. The 50 day moving average at $16.57 was the high of today and this should prove to be near term resistance for the remainder of the week.