Russia's ruble currency, hit by sanctions and sharp oil price drop, falls to a historic low

IndustriesAssociated Press

Russia's ruble currency is hitting an all-time low as the country's economy struggles with the combined blows of Western sanctions and a worldwide fall in oil prices.

In trading on the MICEX exchange, the ruble dropped to 44.9 to the US dollar late Wednesday — about a 3-percent fall for the day. The ruble has lost more than 25 percent this year.

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Russia has been hit by sanctions from the United States and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis, and prices are falling for oil, a key export.

In addition, the Russian Central Bank said Wednesday it would limit its intervention in the currency markets to $350 million a day. The bank spent as much as $3 billion a day in October trying to prop up the ruble.