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Ruble Continues Fall, Lowest Level Since 2009

Published: January 28, 2014 (Issue # 1794)



  • A ruble exchange office sign displaying dollar and euro rates on Monday.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / SPT

The ruble continued its fall in Monday morning trading, reaching a historic low of 47.5 rubles to the euro.

The currency is now at its lowest level against the dollar since March 2009, when it plummeted on fears of a deepening recession in the country.

On Friday, the countrys central bank widened the trading corridor against the euro-dollar basket amid a slide in the ruble of over 3.5 percent since the beginning of the year. The new limit was surpassed Monday morning.

Russia measures the rubles performance against a weighted basket of 55 percent dollars and 45 percent euros.

You may also be interested in: Economist Advises Russians to Dump Ruble, Buy Hard Currency

The central bank, which controls the value of the ruble through interventions on the currency market, has repeatedly widened the target trading band for the ruble in recent months.

A weaker ruble means larger profits for Russian exporters and a windfall for the state budget, which is dependent on revenue from commodity exports.

Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Monday that a natural weakening of the ruble could boost the economy by increasing the competitiveness of Russian businesses, but added that he was opposed to an artificial depreciation.

You may also be interested in: Why the Ruble Is Sinking

Experts have suggested that the bank may be forced to modify its methods of maintaining the corridor, but doing so now might prompt a further fall in the currency.

The central bank is planning to move toward a free floating ruble by the end of this year.

The central banks intervention in trading to prop up the ruble has more than doubled in the last week to about $400 million per day.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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