The bell rung at the beginning of trading sessions is seen in front of the logo of the Moscow Exchange.

Moscow - Moscow stocks plunged 5 percent Friday as jittery investors dumped their holdings ahead of a referendum in Crimea over its bid to break away from Ukraine and join Russia.

The capital's two main indices MICEX and RTS opened down, but losses accelerated to more than 5 percent by mid-day before recovering to 4.37 percent and 4.82 percent, respectively. - Sapa-AFP