Oil prices fell to a five-year low on Monday, sending the rouble tumbling, while fears over slowing manufacturing activity in Europe and China undermined global confidence.
The Russian currency slid more than 6% against the dollar to a new record low.
It was the rouble’s biggest one-day fall since Russia’s 1998 currency crisis.
Brent crude sunk as low as $67.53 a barrel, the cheapest it has been since October 2009.
It later regained some ground to trade at $69.65 a barrel. US crude fell 50 cents to $65.65 a barrel, having hit an intraday low of $63.72 – the lowest since July 2009.
Oil prices have fallen by about a quarter since the summer, while the rouble is down some 40% since January.
The latest falls in the oil price follows Opec’s decision last week not to cut output and leave its production target at 30 million barrels a day.
Amrita Sen, Energy Aspects’ chief oil analyst, said: “The market is still very much in panic mode. Once we get over the panic, Brent prices will probably stabilise at around $65 to $80 a barrel in the short term.”
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