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Ruble Weakens on Lower Oil Prices and Nemtsov Murder

People walk along a street, with a board displaying currency exchange rates seen above, in Moscow.

The Russian ruble weakened at opening on Monday, hurt by a decline in oil prices and the murder on Friday of prominent Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.

At 0723 GMT, the ruble was around 0.9 percent weaker against the dollar at 62.17 and had lost 0.8 percent to trade at 69.48 versus the euro.

Oil, Russia's chief export, fell about 1 percent on Monday on supply concerns, with benchmark Brent at $61.9 per barrel, after the first monthly rise since June.

The assassination of Nemtsov late on Friday night in the vicinity of the Kremlin sent chills to investors in Russian assets, raising concerns about security of their investments.

"The murder of the famous oppositionist Boris Nemtsov may negatively affect Russia-West relations," said Andrei Dirgin from Alfa-Forex.

"This tragic incident can serve as an additional argument to consider new sanctions against Russia — with which we are already blanketed."

Russian stock indexes were mixed, with the dollar-denominated RTS index down 0.2 percent to 895 points and the ruble-based MICEX up 0.4 percent, with the latter capitalizing chiefly on the ruble's decline.

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