Russia’s stocks and the ruble tumbled sharply after the invasion.

Russia’s stocks and the ruble tumbled sharply after the invasion.

Russian stocks plummeted and the ruble fell to a record low against the dollar after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, reflecting fears of the economic penalties other countries have levied against Moscow.

The MOEX stock index, the most-watched Russian benchmark, closed down 33 percent on Thursday; stock prices fell even more sharply on Thursday morning, prompting the Moscow Stock Exchange to halt trading briefly, and then rebounded somewhat in the afternoon.

Whatever the economic fallout from the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has thus far shown defiance in the face of western sanctions, though his support could potentially be affected at home if every day Russians begin to feel economic effects from the invasion.

Russian stocks had been sliding for months as tensions over Ukraine mounted and Western countries vowed that aggression would be met with punishing economic sanctions. The index closed Thursday down 52 percent from its high in October.

The ruble dropped to nearly 90 to the dollar; a week ago, it stood at around 76.

So far, the United States and its allies have refrained from using one of the biggest financial weapons at their disposal, cutting Russia off from Swift, a global messaging service. A cooperative based in Belgium and used by more than 11,000 financial institutions worldwide, Swift is the primary tool they use to carry out transactions with each other.

Without it, banks are essentially walled off from most international commerce, though Russia and other countries have been building alternative systems. Experts say the United States could effectively banish Russian banks from Swift unilaterally, but President Biden has made it clear that he wants to act in concert with allies.

When asked on Thursday why he had not taken that step, Mr. Biden said the financial penalties he was imposing were more severe.

The invasion shook markets around the world, though none as badly as those in Russia, and energy prices jumped in anticipation that Russian exports would be interrupted.

The Hang Seng stock index in Hong Kong slid 3.2 percent. In Germany, the DAX index fell nearly 4 percent. In New York, the S&P 500 index was down less than 1 percent in early afternoon.

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