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08 Feb 2009 06:00
The Russian rouble plunged to its lowest level against the American dollar in 11 years this week as oil prices plummet and economic activity slows down.
The currency, battered by loss of confidence in Russia’s commodity-dependent economy, lost as much as 1,7% against the greenback to finish at 36,35 to the dollar, coming within a fraction of the limits set by the Russian central bank when it tried to put a floor under the losses last month.
The Russian government has spent $200-billion, a third of the country’s reserves, over the past five months in an effort to ensure that depreciation is gradual.
The weakening of the currency led to demonstrations in major cities over the weekend.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs or had their salaries cut.—.
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