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Ruble drops to lowest value ever

Russia's ruble currency is hitting an all-time low as the country's economy struggles with the combined blows of western sanctions and a worldwide fall in oil prices.

In trading on the MICEX exchange, the ruble dropped to 44.9 to the US dollar late today - about a three per cent fall for the day.

The ruble has lost more than 25% of its value this year.

Russia has been hit by sanctions from the US and the European Union over the Ukraine crisis and prices are falling for oil, a key export.

In addition, the Russian Central Bank said today it would limit its intervention in the currency markets to 350 million US dollars (£219 million) a day.

The bank spent as much as three billion US dollars (£1.8 billion) a day in October trying to prop up the ruble.

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