Russian Ruble falls to new low following OPEC decision

Wall Street Journal:
The Russian ruble weakened to new lows in early trading on Friday, hit by a drop in oil prices after OPEC members rejected calls for drastic action to cut their oil output.

OPEC members’ decision to keep their production ceiling unchanged sent Brent crude prices below $72 per barrel for the first time since mid-2010, threatening to put more of a brake on Russia’s economic growth. The country receives around 50% of its revenue from exporting oil and gas.

The ruble touched an all-time low of 49.90 versus the dollar in the first minutes of trading on Moscow exchange, before recovering slightly to 49.57. This takes the ruble’s year-to-date depreciation versus the greenback to 34%.
This would not be happening if the US had not ignored Obama's policy of artificial scarcity for oil and gas.   The shale revolution has handed Russia a strategic defeat at a time when its government is trying to expand its influence.  The Russians have lost more from the drop in the price of oil than they have from the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe.  Even if the Saudis are keeping the production up to target US shale producers, the Russians and Venezuelans are the ones hurting the most.


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