The Russian ruble hit a more than three-year low against the US dollar on the domestic foreign exchange market on Thursday amid Europe’s lingering sovereign debt woes and lower oil prices.
As of 4:05 p.m. Moscow time (12:05 GMT), the ruble slipped 50 kopecks to 33.26 rubles to the dollar, the lowest level since April 2009, and plunged by 65 kopecks against the euro to 41.24.
Foreign exchange market participants continue the purchases of the greenback amid increased external risks and the Central Bank’s weak activity to contain the ruble’s depreciation.
The Bank of Russia has spent no more than $100 million in the past three days on propping up the ruble and stepped up its interventions on Thursday but its support appears to be insufficient to halt the rubles’ slide.
The Bank of Russia is apparently not against moving the ruble value of the dollar/euro bi-currency basket to the upper boundary of the 32.15-38.15 ruble range set by the regulator. The ruble value of the bi-currency basket is currently hovering at 36.74 rubles, leaving 1.2 rubles in store, after which the regulator may ramp up defense of the national currency to leave it within the established range.