Russian Ruble Slips After Trump Tomahawks Syria

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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The Russian Ruble slipped after President Donald Trump ordered a strike against Syria early Friday.

The Russian-based currency is down over 1 percent against the dollar at 9 a.m. Friday morning, and the nation’s equity markets have plummeted nearly 2 percent. The Ruble sank 0.9 percent against the dollar in Moscow–the greatest slip in month to month closing in 2017–just hours after the strike, after Russian President Vladimir Putin labeled the move as an act of “aggression.” Stocks incurred the second-worst decline worldwide on the year, Bloomberg reports.

Two U.S. warships fired 59 Tomahawk missiles Friday morning at the Syrian airbase controlled by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, marking the first direct U.S. attack on Assad’s government in six years of civil war, Reuters reports. Trump said the launch was in response to a chemical attack on Syrian civilians by Assad’s government on Tuesday.

The Ruble’s sudden decline Friday is interesting, considering it has been one of the strongest performing currencies since Trump defeated former Secretary of State Secretary Hillary Clinton in November. Investors believed Trump would usher in an era of improved relations between the U.S. and Russian governments, following years of sanctions imposed by the Obama administration that somewhat soured relations between the two nations.

Russia immediately suspended a pact with the U.S., which aimed to avoid aggression between the two countries in Syrian airspace. Western allies supported the strike, with several nations calling the U.S. strike a proportionate response to the Syrian gassing.

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