The Russian ruble tumbled on Friday to the lowest levels against the dollar and the euro since April 2022, breaching 90 per euro amid a foreign currency crunch in Moscow and the sale of Western businesses in Russia.
The ruble tumbled 1.1 percent against the US dollar to 82.28 by 0930 Moscow time, and fell 1 percent to 90.06 against the euro.
Traders said the ruble was under pressure due to a cocktail of problems including the sale of Western assets to domestic investors, which stoked demand for dollars, while lower prices for oil in March cut export revenues.
The ruble is the third worst performing currency in the world, year to date, behind only the Egyptian pound and the Argentine peso, according to Reuters calculations.
The ruble has so far had the worst week against the dollar since July 2022, according to Reuters calculations.
Traders, though, said that the recent rise in oil prices since the falls of March would likely support the currency in future weeks. Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.
Oil, the lifeblood of the Russian economy, fell in late March but after banking turmoil in the West and an OPEC+ decision to cut output, it has rebounded in recent days.
Brent crude oil traded as low as $70 in late March but was trading at $85 yesterday.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov made a verbal intervention on Thursday when asked by state television about the fall of the ruble.
“Prices for our energy have now gone up and this is a signal that there will be more foreign currency coming into the country,” he said. “Consequently, this will lead to the ruble rate having a tendency to strengthen.”