Russian Market Drops Amid Report of Putin Making National Address

Russia’s stock market continued its gradual fall on Wednesday, October 5, with the Moscow Exchange Index (MOEX)—the ruble-denominated benchmark of the Russian stock market—sinking by more than one percent.

According to the Moscow Times, an independent Russian newspaper, the sharp drop comes at a time when rumors indicating Vladimir Putin is getting ready for a new address to the nation started circulating in Russia.

News that Putin could address the nation soon was reported by pro-Kremlin Readovka on Wednesday morning.

The last time Putin spoke to the nation was on September 21, when the Russian leader announced a partial mobilization with the potential to draft up to 300,000 reservists, according to Russia’s minister of defense Sergei Shoigu.

Russia's capital Moscow
In this photo, cars drive along Komsomolsky avenue in Moscow on July 4, 2021, with the Cathedral of Christ the Savior seen in the background.

According to Readovka, the speech might happen today, Wednesday, and might concern the status of the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine.

A potential address to the nation by Putin has not yet officially been confirmed, but Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin for comment.

What is certain is that the Russian stock market took a plunge on Wednesday’s trading.

The country’s gas giants—Gazprom, Novatek, Rosneft and Lukoil—all reported a sharp drop according to Trading Economics, with Gazprom falling by 3.9 percent, Novatek by 10.4 percent, Rosneft by 5.3 percent, and Lukoil by 1.50 percent.

According to the Trading Economics, a website which provides economic data for 196 countries, investors are still keeping an eye on the daily developments of the war on the battlefields in Ukraine, and the impact of Western sanctions on the Russian economy.

“The halt of gas sales to the West and Europe’s looming oil embargo erased a large amount of Moscow’s revenues and caused a sharp and uncharacteristic budget deficit according to the latest data,” Trading Economics writes.

Wednesday was not the first time the MOEX Index reported a significant drop in the past couple of weeks.

The MOEX Index plunged on both September 20 and 21, as it was first announced that Russia were to launched a series of referenda in four Ukraine’s southwestern regions, followed by Putin talking of the military call-up.