16.siThe volatile ruble has hit a fresh low against the US dollar, trading at 69 per 1 USD after the Russian currency lost 2 percent of its value in opening trading hours in Moscow. Since the beginning of the year, the ruble has lost nearly 15 percent of its value, in tandem with plunging oil prices, which have also lost 15 percent.  Wednesday’s ruble rout is a reaction to the drop of WTI to $44.08 per barrel, the lowest price since April 2009. WTI is the North American oil benchmark.At the time of publication, WTI had edged up slightly to $44.29. Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, has been hit hard by dropping oil prices, since oil and gas exports account for nearly 50 percent of Russia’s exports. Trouble for the ruble has been made worse by sanctions from the West, capital flight and geopolitical consequences from the conflict in Ukraine. Urals crude, Russia’s key export blend, is trading even lower, at $42.8 per barrel. More