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Ruble Falls As Oil Prices Drop To New Lows

The ruble was falling on January 6 as world prices for oil, a key Russian export, dropped to their lowest point in more than five years.

Russia's energy-reliant economy has struggling for months under the weight of falling oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The ruble lost nearly half its value against the U.S. dollar last year and dropped as low as 80 per dollar on December 16 before recovering ahead of the New Year as the government spent billions of dollars to prop it up.

But it was back below 60 per dollar on January 5 and continued to fall on January 6, trading at about 63 to the dollar at 75 to the euro in the afternoon.

Benchmark Brent crude oil fell below $52 per barrel, a 5 1/2-year low, a day after U.S. crude oil prices dropped below $50 a barrel.

With reporting by Reuters and Interfax
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