Russia's ruble falls to new all-time low of 55 to US dollar

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The ruble has fallen to a new all-time low, tracking the dive in the price of oil and reflecting the overall weakness of the Russian economy.

Russia's currency traded at 55.02 rubles to the dollar in early trading on Thursday, surpassing the previous low set on Dec. 3. The ruble also hit an all-time low against the euro of 68.47.

The ruble has lost about 42 percent of its value since January, battered by Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the drop in the price of oil, the backbone of the Russian economy.

The latest decline came despite expectations that the Russian Central Bank on Thursday will raise interest rates again in an effort to help stabilize the ruble.