Apple Inc. (AAPL) halted online sales of its products in Russia due to “extreme” ruble fluctuations, showing how the currency’s swings are rippling out to international businesses.
The iPhone and iPad maker stopped sales from its Web store as Russia’s currency lost as much as 19 percent today, with a surprise interest-rate increase failing to stem a run on the currency. The ruble briefly sank beyond 80 per dollar, and bonds and stocks also tumbled, with the RTS equity gauge dropping the most since 2008.
“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, wrote in an e-mailed statement today. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”
The selloff in Moscow is spreading across the globe, prompting nervous investors to pull money from other developing nations amid concern that Russia’s financial struggles and the tumble in oil signal a global economic slowdown.