Russian ruble drops to 3-year low on weaker oil
MOSCOW – Russia's currency, the ruble, on Thursday slumped to a three-year low on the back of the falling price of oil and the euro crisis.
The ruble dropped 2.2 percent to 33.48 rubles against the U.S. dollar in trading on Thursday, its lowest level since April 2009. The Russian currency has been declining for seven days and lost some 3.5 percent this week as oil prices went down.
The Russian Central Bank, which occasionally intervenes on the market to support the currency, has so far refrained from propping up the ruble.
The Urals blend, which is viewed as a benchmark price for the oil that Russia exports, dropped 3.4 percent to $100.60 on Wednesday and lost a total of 4.5 percent this week.
Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich sought to assuage fears of lower oil prices and a declining ruble, insisting that the government is in control.
"We're prepared for any scenario," he said in televised remarks. "But we have the reserves necessary for dealing with a crisis if there is one."
Russia holds over $513 billion in international reserves which include foreign currency, gold and special drawing rights.
The country's stock markets fell to 1242.66 — by 2.4 percent — Thursday night.