Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Hits New Low

MOSCOW -- The volatile ruble dropped 7.19 percent to a fresh low against the U.S. dollar Monday as the Central Bank set the official exchange rate for Tuesday at 20.99 rubles.

The currency, which previously hit a record low of 20.9 on Dec. 21, had been gradually firming up against the dollar last week, ending Friday at 19.48.

Economists have predicted that the floating ruble will fall below the 21.5 mark - on which the 1999 state budget is based - by the end of this year. The ruble has been sliding since Aug. 17, whenthe government decided to hang on to its reserves rather than use them up defending the currency.