Russian ruble bounces back after oil price rise

GMT 10:16 2016 Friday ,22 January

Arab Today, arab today Russian ruble bounces back after oil price rise

The Russian currency stood at 80.3 against the dollar
Moscow - AFP

Russia's battered ruble on Friday bounced back after a rise in crude prices, recovering ground a day after it slumped to an all-time low against the dollar.

The Russian currency stood at 80.3 against the dollar, up from Thursday's 82.63 ruble to the greenback, as oil prices rose from 12-year lows. The country's RTS dollar-denominated index meanwhile was up 5.30 percent at 0930 GMT.

Earlier this week, the ruble fell to a record low against the dollar, dipping below the 85-ruble mark and standing at 93 against the euro.

Russia -- whose energy-reliant economy has already been pushed into recession by low oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine -- has been rocked by the fresh fall in oil prices and officials have come under increasing pressure to react.

In a bid to calm the markets, central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina insisted at a finance ministry meeting Friday that the authorities were "closely following" the situation on and have the tools to ward off instability.

"We have all the means to be proactive and prevent threats to financial stability in advance," Elvira Nabiullina was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

The slump in the ruble earlier in the week had sparked "nervousness" among officials, Kommersant daily reported, and the central bank on Thursday summoned bank chiefs for an unexpected late-night meeting.

She also cancelled her trip to the Davos economic forum, where she was to speak on Friday.

The government, which is facing an increasingly difficult struggle to keep public discontent in check while trying to balance the books, said Friday it was preparing an anti-crisis plan.

Authorities have already admitted that tumbling oil prices will have to see them slash government spending as they struggle to keep the deficit to under three percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The plan, according to business daily RBK, would include measures to support the most fragile sectors of the economy and could cost 420 billion rubles ($5.1 billion).


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