Rouble hits low

MOSCOW: The rouble hit a historic low on Wednesday as the dollar climbed past the 80.1 roubles level for the first time, exceeding the levels seen during the shock plunge of the Russian currency in December 2014. After a day of relative calm, the rouble resumed its downward spiral, breaking through the previous record low it hit on December 16, 2014, as oil prices, key to Russia’s economy, test 12-year lows. The rouble was also trading at 87.6 against the euro as Asian and European markets suffered another rout. Gas and oil account for more than a half of the Russian budget revenues. In December 2014, the Russian currency crashed to unprecedented lows, trading at over 80 roubles to the dollar and 100 to the euro. Western sanctions over the Kremlin’s support for the separatist insurgency in Ukraine have all but closed access to foreign borrowing for Russia.