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

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.

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.