Ruble slips to nine-month low
The Russian ruble dropped to a nearly nine-month low against the US dollar on the Moscow Exchange on Monday, following volatile trading last week and expectations of new EU sanctions.
The currency slipped to 73.68 rubles to the US dollar in afternoon trading, the weakest rate since the end of April. Analysts expect the ruble to remain under pressure until the end of February, when exporters will begin converting their foreign currency earnings into rubles to pay taxes.
The ruble’s depreciation versus the dollar and the euro has also been driven by expectations of another batch of financial restrictions and lower oil prices.
The EU is set to propose a new package of sanctions on Russia, which among other penalties, would target four Russian banks, including the country’s largest private lender, Alfa Bank.
However, the ruble’s overall dynamics remain positive, data shows. It is still trading higher than it did in January last year, prior to the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions.
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