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Russia's rouble extends historic lows against euro

Russia's rouble opened nearly one per cent lower against the euro on Monday, extending losses which have taken it below record low levels against the single European currency.

MOSCOW: Russia's rouble opened nearly one per cent lower against the euro on Monday, extending losses which have taken it below record low levels against the single European currency.

The euro was being traded at 47.54 roubles in the opening hours of trading on the Moscow Exchange -- substantially stronger that the 42.25 record it had set in the worst months of Russia's 2008-2009 financial crisis.

The dollar was being traded nearly 0.7 per cent higher at 34.71 roubles. The level was also its highest against the Russian currency since the end of 2008.

The two currencies have both gained more than 1.5 per cent against the rouble since Thursday's close.

Traders attributed the rouble's rapid drop to strongly negative investor sentiment about emerging markets and diminishing Central Bank support for Russia's beleaguered currency.

Russia intends to introduce a fully floating exchange rate starting next year and shift its focus to the fight against persistently high inflation -- measures roundly applauded by economists but feared by consumers.

Fears about a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing sent the value of emerging market currencies plummeting at the end last week.

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