Russia’s stock market was the world’s worst in February, as the Trump honeymoon ends

Put the champagne away.
Put the champagne away.
Image: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin
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The honeymoon is over. Russia’s stock market soared after the US presidential election, but things have recently gone into reverse as hopes fade that Donald Trump’s apparent fondness for Vladimir Putin will be backed by action—namely, a removal of economic sanctions on Moscow.

In fact, Russia’s benchmark Micex index was the world’s worst performer in February, recording a 9% slump.

Trump is under pressure from the US Senate to keep sanctions in place, amid calls for an investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties with Russian officials and evidence that Moscow interfered in the US election.

The tone has also changed in Russia. After showering Trump with praise, state media outlets have reportedly been urged to tone down their coverage. Recent articles have criticized the administration, especially on foreign policy.

Even after the February tumble, Russian stocks and the ruble are still stronger than they were before the US election. But Boris Titov, the Kremlin’s ombudsman for business, told Bloomberg that he isn’t hopeful about the prospects for a thaw in the traditionally frosty relations between Russia and the US. And even if there was, “investments won’t flow” to Russia automatically.