"The US sanctions imposed on Russia last Friday have caused turmoil in Russia’s markets today and financial conditions have tightened as a result. But at this stage it doesn’t look like there will be a significant impact on growth in the economy as a whole," William Jackson, a senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics said.
While the RTS fell by more than 10%, the MICEX index, another key benchmark, fell by as much 8%. "It’s not altogether clear why Russian assets suddenly took this turn for the worse, but it seems likely that there may be growing concerns that other companies could get caught in the net," Jackson added.
The losses are the biggest single day fall for the index since a separate set of sanctions were imposed over Russia's actions in Crimea in 2014.