The Moscow stock exchange on Monday dropped by more than four percent as Russia’s energy-dependent economy reels from low oil prices and fluctuations on the Asian market. The dollar-denominated RTS index had dropped by 4.16 percent as of 0725 GMT, while Russia’s battered ruble fell to 76 against the dollar and over 83 against the euro for the first time since the currency slump of December 2014.
Russia’s economy and the ruble have been battered since 2014 by the slide in oil prices and Western sanctions over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis. But the continued slump in oil prices, with Brent crude trading below $33 on Monday, and worries over the state of China’s economy pummeled Russia’s markets and currency as trading began again following a break for the Orthodox Christmas last week. FULL REPORT