The Russia connectionRuble falls further, officials seek to calm nerves

The Russian ruble is falling for a second straight day following the imposition of new U.S. , while the Central Bank chief and other officials are seeking to calm investors in the wake of a big sell-off in shares of Russian companies a day earlier.

The Russian ruble is falling for a second straight day following the imposition of new U.S. sanctions, while the Central Bank chief and other officials are seeking to calm investors in the wake of a big sell-off in shares of Russian companies a day earlier.

The ruble was down by more than 4.5 percent early on April 10, trading at more than 63 to the dollar for the first time since December .

The euro was worth more than 78 rubles for the first time since early 2016, during a recession caused largely by low world oil prices and aggravated by previous Western sanctions.

The ruble gained some ground against both currencies later in the day, but was still at its lowest since December 2016 against the dollar at about 62 — a decline of more than 2 percent.

The declines came a day after the ruble suffered its biggest single-day drop in more than three years and the price of stocks in major Russian companies fell.

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich acknowledged “uncertainty” among investors in the wake of the sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury Department on April 6.

The U.S. measures targeted more than two dozen tycoons, companies, officials, and political figures seen as close to President Vladimir Putin — part of an attempt to punish Russia for what the treasury secretary called its “malign activity around the globe.”

“The main thing right now is to minimize uncertainty while securing stable functioning of the companies where hundreds of thousands of people work…. If necessary we will ensure the preservation of stable functioning.” Dvorkovich told an economic forum in Moscow. He did not explain in detail how the government might achieve that goal.

“Share prices are a secondary thing in this case,” Dvorkovich said, a statement that appeared aimed to signal to everyday Russians that their well-being is more important to the government than the price of shares in companies controlled by wealthy tycoons.



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