posted at 20:50
Author: Christopher Miller
Russias ruble rocked by falling oil prices, tensions over Ukraine
KIEV, Ukraine - Russia's currency plummeted to new lows on Monday, falling more than 6% to almost 54 rubles to the dollar before recovering slightly to around 52 by evening. The drop on Monday marked the ruble's worst one-day plunge since the Russian financial crisis of 1998, when the country defaulted on its debt. The fall in the value of the ruble is thanks largely to falling oil prices and sanctions imposed by the EU and U.S. related to Russia's annexation of Crimea and its support of pro-Russian separatists fighting in eastern Ukraine. The ruble has faced trouble all year, but it began to really tumble around the time that Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was downed over war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board. Hard-hit by the ruble's slide are Russia's consumers, whose salaries are paid in the poorly performing currency. Apple last week increased prices on its smartphones and computers by 15% to 25% in Russia to keep up with the ailing ruble. Russia's Izvestia said today that it had interviewed the country's top 30 banks by assets and found that they had limited the sale of foreign currency due to the ruble's fall. With the ruble tanking, there is growing fear of a major economic slowdown in Russia.

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