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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moldova Leu Dives

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Hundreds of stores, restaurants and gas stations closed in a panic Tuesday after the Moldovan currency lost roughly half its value in one day.

The nosedive by the Moldovan leu was the worst drop since the country gained independence in 1991 from the Soviet Union, and it came a day after the Central Bank said it would stop propping up the currency.

The bank spent $120 million, almost half the country's meager hard currency reserves, in a bid to defend the Moldovan currency, officials said.

The leu dropped from 6.4 to 10 against the U.S. dollar from Monday to Tuesday.