Finance

The ruble is about to hit an all-time low

The Russian ruble is getting crushed on Monday morning, and could hit its lowest level of all-time against the dollar as oil’s continuing rout bites.

As of 8:30 a.m GMT (3:30 a.m. ET), the Russian currency is trading at 78.54 rubles per dollar, having come close to 78.9 at around 7:15 a.m. GMT (2:15 a.m. ET). That marks a fall of over 1%, and is taking the currency close to levels last seen during Russia’s most recent financial crisis. Here’s how it looks, with the dollar strengthening against Russia’s currency:

ruble jan 18Investing.com

Monday’s fall takes the ruble close to its all-time low against the dollar. That low came in December 2014 during the worst of Russia’s financial crisis, when the ruble briefly traded at over 80 per dollar.

The big driver of the slumping ruble is oil’s big slide on Monday morning. Brent crude crashed as low as $27.67 per barrel during Asian trade, after international sanctions against Iran were lifted over the weekend. This is expected to release up to 500,000 extra barrels of oil per day into the already hugely oversupplied market, and have sparked a new flight away from oil.

Right now, Brent is trading at around $28.50, a fall of 2.5% on the day. West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark, is also down on the day, touching $30 per barrel, a fall of 1.3%.

As Russia’s biggest export, oil is critical to the country’s economy, and as it struggles so to do assets across the board. The ruble’s sell-off has also hit Russian stocks, with the RTSI index in Moscow down by 0.6% to 649.13 points, having plumbed lows of 634.37 points, a fall of 2.4%, and its lowest since December 2014, earlier in trading.

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