Russian ruble weakens as oil prices slump

AP News
Posted: Jan 12, 2015 3:59 AM

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian ruble is edging further down amid a continuing slump in oil prices.

The currency was down about 2 percent in morning trading in Moscow, floating around 62.8 rubles per dollar.

The ruble has been plunging under a combined blow of slumping oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. Last year, it was the world's worst performing currency last year along with the Ukrainian hryvnia.

Last week, Fitch Ratings downgraded Russia to the lowest investment grade, citing a worsening economic outlook.

The government has predicted that the economy will drop by more than 4 percent this year if oil prices remain at their current level.

Russia's central bank has tried to stem the ruble's decline by sharply raising its key interest rate and selling its reserves.