MOSCOW - The Russian rouble fell towards its lowest levels since 2016 in early trade on Monday as support from month-end tax payments faded, giving way to pressure from new U.S. sanctions against Moscow.
The rouble shed 0.5 percent to 67.42 versus the dollar as of 0730 GMT, sliding towards 69.01, its lowest level since April 2016, which it briefly touched last week.
U.S. sanctions against Russia tied to a nerve agent attack in Britain, which were announced earlier this month, came into effect on Monday, adding to the array of economic penalties Washington has imposed on Moscow.
A second batch of penalties will be imposed after 90 days unless Russia gives “reliable assurance” that it would no longer use chemical weapons and allow on-site inspections by the United Nations or another international observer group.
The rouble also fell 0.5 percent versus the euro to 78.35 , losing support from month-end taxes after export-focused companies have used the sell-off in the rouble last week to convert dollar revenues at attractive exchange rates to meet local liabilities this week.