MOSCOW – The Russian ruble has dropped to a new low, battered by weak oil prices.
The national currency was down 1.7 percent at 78.9 rubles to the dollar in late afternoon trading Monday in Moscow, its lowest mid-trading level since December 2014.
Oil prices that the Russian economy relies on have recently plummeted to under $30 a barrel, a 13-year low. The ruble is also under pressure from economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Russia is running a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP this year, and the government is looking to give a 10 percent trim to expenses in the federal budget which was drafted with oil prices of $50 a barrel in mind.