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Ruble tanks on report Flynn to link Trump directly to Russia probe

Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
Gen. Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to US President Donald Trump, leaves Federal Court December 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The Russian ruble dropped suddenly against the U.S. dollar on an ABC News report that Michael Flynn will testify that he was directed by Donald Trump to make contact with officials of the country.

The dollar gained more than 1.1 percent against the ruble Friday.

Flynn also pleaded guilty to knowingly making materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statements to FBI agents, a felony.

Russian Ruble Futures

Source: FactSet

Immediately following the news, the dollar index slipped nearly 0.4 percent to 92.69, turning negative on the day and erasing small gains for the week.

But it gained versus the ruble.

The ruble was last at 59.02 rubles per dollar, when just before the news it was quoted at 58.49 rubles per dollar.

Given the nature of the independent investigation spearheaded by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the guilty plea and cooperation from Flynn will likely complicate relations between the two countries.

"I'd say broadly speaking the dollar's suffered on this news," said Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman.

Even though the foreign exchange trader said this was a sizable move against the ruble he cautioned against drawing broad conclusions about asset pricing based on the move.

The dollar had been on track to outperform the major global currencies (except the pound) for the week, but after the Flynn news, it's more of a "mixed bag," he concluded.

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