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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Falls As Oil Price Declines

MTThe ruble fell 1.7 percent to 31.3 per dollar as Urals dipped below $70.
The ruble declined the most in a week against the dollar as oil, the nation's main export earner, dropped for a second day.

The Russian currency weakened 1.7 percent, its worst daily drop since February, to 31.3 per dollar.

The country's Urals blend crude dropped as much as 1.8 percent to $69.33 a barrel in New York as the dollar rose against the euro, damping demand for commodities.

"Speculative money has increased oil's sensitivity to dollar movements, and if the dollar continues to strengthen this will weigh on prices," said Eliane Tanner, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group in Zurich. "Unless we see a significant improvement in the fundamentals, we continue to expect a correction from current levels."

The U.S. currency rallied after Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said June 13 that it was too early to speak of an alternative to the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

"Kudrin's comments have helped the dollar as seen in its move against the euro, with a lower oil price this translates into weaker ruble today," said Jon Harrison, an emerging markets strategist at Dresdner Kleinwort in London.

The greenback advanced against 14 of the world's 16 major currencies.

The ruble stayed flat against the euro at 43.4 on Monday and traded down 0.2 percent at 36.6 against the Central Bank's target dollar/euro basket.