Exchange-traded funds that track the Russian equity market tumbled on Monday and were on track for their biggest one-day drop in years.
The slump followed a new round of sanctions that were imposed on Russian entities and individuals, while tensions between Russia and the U.S. also escalated after a suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria. President Donald Trump tweeted that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, were responsible for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and said there would be a “big price...to pay.”
The VanEck Vectors Russia ETF /zigman2/quotes/200464876/composite RSX -1.59% tumbled 9.4%, on track for its worst session since December 2014. The fund traded on volume of nearly 20 million shares, well above its 30-day average of 8 million. Another fund, the iShares MSCI Russia ETF /zigman2/quotes/206979425/composite ERUS -2.33% , sank 10.6% and was also on pace for its biggest decline since December 2014.
The U.S. dollar jumped 3.6% against the Russian ruble /zigman2/quotes/210561862/realtime/sampled USDRUB +0.2016% , which dropped to its lowest level since August.
The decline was enough to turn both ETFs lower for the year; the VanEck fund is down 4.3% in 2018 while the iShares fund is off 4.6%. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.16% is down 1% year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.07% is off 1.7%.