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Ruble Sinks to Six-Week Low After S&P Downgrades Russia to Junk

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The ruble slid to a six-week low after Standard & Poor’s downgraded Russia to junk, exacerbating a selloff as bloodshed in Ukraine raised the likelihood for tougher sanctions.

Russia was lowered one step to BB+, putting it below investment grade for the first time in a decade, as the economy of the world’s energy largest exporter heads for a recession after oil fell by more than half in the past year. The decision came as the U.S. and European Union warned that Russia, which they accuse of aiding rebels in eastern Ukraine, may face further repercussions after a rocket attack on the port city of Mariupol on Saturday.