Russian Ruble Falls to Record Low

Moscow: The Russian ruble fell to its weakest level ever against the dollar on Thursday even as top officials tried to play down the significance of the depreciation, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The ruble hit 86 to the dollar, pressured by weak oil prices, just days after having broken through the psychologically crucial threshold of 80.

“Today we saw panic on the Russian market, taking into account that oil prices are almost at yesterday’s levels,” said Ivan Kopeikin, an expert at BCS Express research firm.

The ruble’s crash came the day after the Bank of Russia said the depreciation was justified and carried no risks to financial stability. The statement was taken by the market as a direct indication that the central bank has no immediate plans to intervene to stem the decline in the currency.

The central bank hasn’t supported the ruble since late 2014. It let the ruble float freely from Nov. 10 of that year and eliminated regular interventions after spending several dozen billions of dollars from its reserves. Since then the Bank of Russia has said it would intervene only if there are risks to financial stability.