- At 0727 GMT, the rouble was 0.9pc weaker against the dollar at 78.04, heading back towards 79.9750 which it touched on Tuesday and was the weakest level since March.
MOSCOW: The Russian rouble fell on Friday after two days of gains, hit by a slump in oil prices and rising risk aversion globally after US President Donald Trump tested positive for COVID-19.
At 0727 GMT, the rouble was 0.9pc weaker against the dollar at 78.04, heading back towards 79.9750 which it touched on Tuesday and was the weakest level since March.
The rouble has recently been under pressure from geopolitical risks related to the turmoil in neighbouring Belarus, the suspected poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a military conflict in the South Caucasus.
News that President Trump had tested positive for COVID-19 a month away from an election added fuel to the global risk aversion, denting the rouble.
The Russian central bank cushions losses in the rouble with its daily selling of foreign currency, which was set to increase by the equivalent of 2.9 billion roubles ($37.17 million) a day in October as part of the bank's deal to sell a stake in Russia's largest lender Sberbank to the finance ministry.
Versus the euro, the rouble lost 0.7pc to 91.50, moving closer to 93.32, its weakest level since early 2016 hit this week.
On the stock market, shares in Sberbank fell 8pc on the day to 209 roubles apiece as they went ex-dividend, meaning dividend allocations have been determined and the stocks lost the dividend value.
Shares in Russia's top air carrier Aeroflot slipped 3pc after the company announced its plan to raise at least 80 billion roubles ($1.02 billion) in a secondary public offering.
Shares in business conglomerate Sistema jumped nearly 3pc on the day after reports that online retailer Ozon, part-owned by Sistema, was considering an initial public offering in the United States later this year.
Russian stock indexes were down, pressured by a 2.7pc slump in Brent crude oil to $39.83 per barrel. The dollar-denominated RTS index fell 2.8pc to 1,141.8 points.
The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 2pc lower at 2,832.5 points.