The Russian ruble has fallen further against the dollar and the euro hitting record new lows against the currencies.
Russia’s currency has been put under pressure by a combination of falling oil prices and fears over a possible sovereign debt downgrade by Standard & Poor’s Friday.
The ratings agency currently has a BBB- on Russia, only one grade above junk. A further downgrade would push it into junk territory, likely increasing the country’s borrowing costs at a time when it is already struggling to meet budget targets due to plunging commodity revenues. If the oil price continues to slide analysts see the country falling into a recession.
The Russian central bank has spent over $US15 billion in October to prop up the currency, burning through Russia’s foreign exchange reserves, but so far has been unable to halt the slide.