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Ruble Weakens Over Concerns of New U.S. Sanctions

Russian ruble and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen on a table at a bank in Moscow.

The ruble weakened on Monday, trading near the record lows against the dollar that it hit in the previous session, with investors concerned about possible new U.S. sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

At 0745 GMT, the ruble was 0.3 percent weaker at 58.33 against the dollar and 0.5 percent weaker at 72.66 versus the euro.

After Russian markets closed last week, the U.S. Congress passed a bill setting out tougher sanctions on Moscow and authorizing the supply of military aid to Ukraine.

The bill "will be negative for market sentiment," analysts at Sberbank investment research wrote in a note.

A modest recovery in crude prices, whose sharp fall has — together with sanctions — been the main cause behind the ruble's slide, kept the currency's losses in check.

Russian shares were mixed, tracking developments in the currency market. The dollar-based RTS index was 0.6 percent down at 794 points and the ruble-traded MICEX, up 0.8 percent at 1,472 points.

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