Russian Federation has threatened the United States with "most severe consequences"

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani in the Oval Office of the White House Tuesday

The Russian ruble fell sharply again Wednesday as US sanctions imposed last week continued to bite and President Donald Trump threatened a missile strike on Syria.

Despite this, US President Donald Trump who commented on Sunday on reports of the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria's Eastern Ghouta again blamed Russian Federation and Iran for the support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The latest sanctions are notably worse than earlier ones because they specifically bar any trading of securities of targeted companies rather than just blocking their access to new global fundraising.

Right after Trump's statement, the rouble hit 65.06 versus the USA dollar on the Moscow Exchange, its weakest level since late November 2016, and losing more than 11 percent of its value since the sanctions were imposed. Versus the euro, the rouble shed 2.94 percent to slide beyond the psychological threshold of 80 to 80.14, a level last seen in March 2016.

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Oil prices slipped meanwhile following the previous day's sharp rally, although losses were limited as the commodity markets eyed an escalation of Middle East tensions.

"I am sure that many people saw these photos where children, adults, are showered abundantly from buckets, and this is done by people who are not using protective masks in order to protect themselves from the possible impact of the substance from which those whom they are helping suffered", the Russian Foreign Minister said in reference to the photos of the alleged 2017 chemical attack in Syria's Idlib. The sanctions triggered volatility and uncertainty, prompting companies to change their plans while also providing buying opportunities. "We have already learnt how to do it and will definitely turn all these actions to the benefit of our own economy and economic development", he said, warning "but we will not forget those who continue this anti-Russian policy, those who harm our country". At the same time, Novatek, Russia's largest independent gas producer, said it bought back 482,840 ordinary shares from the market on Tuesday. Stock indexes were mixed.

Hong Kong-listed shares in Rusal, Russian aluminium tycoon Oleg Deripaska's firm, dropped 8.7 per cent after halving yesterday, while trading in Deripaska's energy firm En+ was suspended in London.

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