Russia's ruble tanks on first day of trading after holiday

MOSCOW: The Russian ruble has tanked on the first day of trading after a ten-day holiday period as the price of oil continues to decline.

The national currency dropped by nearly 2 percent half an hour into trading to 76.1 rubles on Monday at the Moscow stock exchange's first currency trading session since December 31.

Oil prices, the backbone of the Russian economy, have been declining in the past week, pressured by fears about a slowdown in China's economic growth.

The ruble lost about 20 percent last year after a depreciation of 40 percent in 2014.

Apart from low oil prices the Russian economy has been weighed down by economic sanctions that Western nations imposed on Russia following the 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.