US dollar hits new 20-year high as Russia calls up reservist

The US dollar climbed to a new two-decade high on Wednesday after Russia said it was mobilizing 300,000 military reserves in an escalation of the war in Ukraine. 

In a televised national address Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin announced an immediate partial mobilization of Russian citizens and threatened to use  

all the means at our disposal” to defend Russia “and our people.” He also referenced the potential use of nuclear weapons. 

The speech pushed the greenback up 0.4% against a basket of major currencies to its strongest level since 2002. Investors often seek safe haven in US dollar assets during times of geopolitical tension.

Oil prices also jumped. Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, gained 2.5%, rising to just below $93 per barrel.

Russian stocks slid 3.5% Wednesday after the announcement, adding to heavy losses incurred Tuesday after Putin threatened to hold referendums to annex parts of Ukraine still occupied by Russian forces. The ruble also dropped nearly 3% against the US dollar.

The euro initially slumped 0.7% to hit 98 cents ($0.97) against the US dollar, but has since ticked upwards. The currency, used by 19 European countries,