The ruble plunged to a record low

The Russian ruble just hit a record low against the dollar for the second day in a row, and is on its way to the steepest two-decline in nine months.

On Thursday, the Russian currency dropped as low as 4.9% to 85.390 per US dollar, according to data from Bloomberg.

It has been the worst performing emerging market currency, and is currently trading around $84.399 per dollar.

“The latest drop in the ruble to below 80/$ creates several headaches for policymakers and means that the chances of a cut in interest rates over the next month or so, which were already slim, have now evaporated,” argues Capital Economics’ Neil Shearing and Liza Ermolenko.

“The net result of all of this is that monetary policy will have to remain tighter than would otherwise have been the case,” they added.

Notably, this tumble follows the latest oil drama.

Today, Brent crude is down another 0.7%, down to $27.68 per barrel, while WTI crude is off 1.7% to $27.99. The commodities’ prices have fallen about 70% since summer 2014.

“The latest slide in oil prices has obviously darkened the outlook for Russia’s economy,” wrote Shearing and Ermolenko.

“We’ve analysed the relationship between oil prices and economic growth in several pieces in the past and, while we’re wary of drawing a mechanical link, it’s clear that Russia is worse off when oil prices fall. We’ll revisit our forecasts in our forthcoming Emerging Europe Economic Outlook but it’s fair to say that, were we to start with a blank sheet of paper, we would be forecasting another drop in GDP this year (our current forecast is negligible growth of +0.3%),” they noted.

In any case, the ruble’s outlook isn’t looking great.

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