Rouble value drops

MOSCOW: Russia’s battered rouble on Monday reached its 2015 low as slump in oil prices weighs on the outlook for the country’s recession-hit economy. The rouble stood at 72.46 against the dollar, dropping below 72 for the first time since December 2014. The Russian currency also stood at 79.55 against the euro, its lowest value since August. The slide in oil prices and western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis have pummelled the oil-dependent Russian economy in recent months. The rouble lost around half of its value in 2014 but recovered slightly as energy prices stabilised this year, allowing officials to claim the worst of crisis had passed.