Moscow stock exchange begins gradual reopening with bonds trading

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Trading in federal government bonds restarted Monday on the Moscow Stock Exchange as part of a phased re-opening after a nearly month-long suspension over the conflict in Ukraine.

The Moscow exchange suspended trading hours after President Vladimir Putin sent thousands of troops into pro-Western Ukraine on February 24.

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Andrei Braginsky, a spokesman for the Moscow Exchange, confirmed the resumption of OFZ treasury bond trading on Monday.

He expressed hope that trading in stocks would also resume soon.

“Technically everything is ready, and we are hoping this will resume in the near future,: Braginsky told AFP.

Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina said on Friday the lender would buy federal government bonds to limit volatility.

Four days after the start of Moscow’s military action in Ukraine, the Bank of Russia more than doubled its key interest rate to 20 percent as the West pummeled the country with sanctions.

The value of the Russian ruble has plunged to historic lows after world powers imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow.

There have been concerns about Russia defaulting on its debt, but it paid $117 million in interest on two dollar-denominated bonds last week.

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