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Apple suspends sales over rouble's slide

Petrol may fall to £1 a litre – but Russia in currency crisis

petrol 2The plummeting oil price could force the price of a litre of petrol below £1 for the first time since mid-2009 in the next few weeks.

But the good news for western consumers is proving grim for Russia where the rouble continues to fall and  Apple, the world’s biggest company, has suspended online sales in the country.

Motoring organisation the RAC says the average price of a litre of petrol is 116.9p – nearly 14p a litre lower than at the start of the year. Diesel is almost 16p cheaper at 122.33p a litre against 138.24p in January.

There are expectations that its next move is to 110p for petrol and to around 105p or lower in the coming weeks.

In Russia, the falling oil price is playing havoc with the economy and currency. The country needs oil to be at about $100 a barrel to balance the books but it fell below $60 yesterday.

The rouble opened yesterday at 64 roubles to the dollar. It shot up to 78 against the dollar before falling back again to about 68. Interest rates were jacked up to 17% in an attempt to halt the slide but it has not stopped the volatility.

Apple said in a statement that it was reviewing sales while the currency remains unstable.

Shares in Danish brewing giant Carlsberg, which derives a large chunk of its profits from Russia, plunged 6.52%. The company bought out Scottish & Newcastle from their joint venture at the height of Russia’s beer boom.

Commentators now believe Russia will need to take drastic action, including withdrawal from Ukraine to lift western sanctions which are contributing to the currency situation.

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