The ruble just erased nearly all of its 2015 gains.
On Tuesday, the Russian currency dropped below 60 per dollar for the first time since March.
The ruble is currently trading around 60.50 rubles per dollar, and got down as low as 60.88 per dollar during the day, according to Bloomberg data.
To date, the currency has tumbled over 18.5% since mid-May.
The ruble’s drop follows the recent oil plunge: both Brent and WTI have fallen roughly 20% over the last six weeks. Currently, Brent is trading around $US52.77/barrel, while WTI is around 47.34/barrel.
The ruble’s plunge comes at an incovenient time, and puts the Central Bank of Russia in a tough spot.
So far, the bank has slashed rates four times this year, but some analysts believe that the ruble’s plunge could inspire the bank to interrupt their rate-cuting agenda.
“On the one hand, the recession in the economy and extremely tight credit conditions argue for a rate cut,” Liza Ermolenko, an analyst at Capital Economics in London, told Bloomberg. “But on the other hand, easing policy at the time when the ruble is weakening sharply could cause it to fall even further, creating risks for inflation and financial stability.”
The central bank is expected to announce on Friday whether or not it will cut interests rates further.
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