Russian Ruble Near 3-Year Low vs. Dollar

The Russian central bank widened the trading band for the ruble today as the Russia’s main exports — crude oil and metals continued to depreciate on the global markets.
The Bank of Russia allowed the ruble to depreciate by 30 kopecks today at the beginning of the currency trading session. It was the fourth time since November 11 when the central bank allowed the ruble to decline against benchmark currency basket, which consists of 45% euro and 55% U.S. dollar.
The Urals crude oil, which is Russia’s main export commodity, fell to $39.34 per barrel yesterday — the lowest level since 2005. The Bank of Russia continues to spend the national foreign reserves to keep the currency from depreciating too fast, meanwhile, lowering its benchmark rate stepwise.
Currency analysts don’t believe that the Russian ruble may return to appreciation while the oil prices decline. The current price levels are already critical and they will certainly continue to press on the Russian currency.
USD/RUR rose from 27.820 to 28.061 as of 10:50 GMT today after reaching 28.110 — the new yearly high since February 2006. EUR/RUR went up from 35.637 to 35.799 and reached 35.920 during the trading session — the highest rate since October 8.

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