(Bloomberg) — The Moscow Exchange equity market will remain shut until at least March 18, extending a record shutdown meant to shield domestic investors from the impact of harsh sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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The central bank announced the decision on its website Saturday and said a decision on whether trading would resume from March 21 would be announced later. Stock trading has been halted since Feb. 25.

Local traders are bracing for a selloff as investors react to a slew of fresh measures over the past two weeks, including import bans on Russian oil by the U.S. and U.K. The ruble slumped on Wednesday when foreign-exchange trading resumed after being shuttered since March 5.

Although Russia has promised to prop up its equity market with up to $10 billion when it reopens, strategists expect local stocks could sink as much as 50% as international sanctions hit everything from Russia’s ability to access foreign reserves to the SWIFT bank-messaging system.

Read More: Lessons for Russia From Long Stock Market Shutdowns: QuickTake

(Updates with background on the shutdown.)

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