Rouble's slide continues

The Russian central bank on Thursday allowed the rouble to depreciate further, as the drain on its foreign reserves continued unabated.

In recent weeks the authorities have intervened in the foreign-exchange market to support the under pressure currency. This has drained the central bank's reserves, which amounted to $437 billion on 5 December from their peak of $597.5 billion on 8 August.

The central bank has permitted the rouble to weaken to 31.89 from 31.63 against its target basket of cu