Russian ruble down 1.7 percent, extending losses

The Russian ruble has extended a week of decline, fueled by low oil prices and Western sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine's crisis.

The ruble traded 1.7 percent lower at 54.8 against the U.S. dollar on Wednesday morning, losing over 16 percent of its value in the past five trading days.

The ruble is among the most battered currencies this year, along with the Ukrainian hryvnia. The ruble's decline was compounded by falling oil price, crucial for the Russian economy.

Monetary officials in the past weeks had refused to intervene, letting the ruble to reach the bottom. The Central Bank revealed on Wednesday, however, that it sold $700 million on Monday to prop up the ruble which was declining by as much as 6 percent at one point.