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Sat 6 Dec 2008 07:08 PM

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Key expat currencies continue slide

British pound, Russian ruble, Indian rupee and Philippine peso trawl record lows against US dollar.

Key currencies for expatriates living in the Gulf continued to slump against the dollar last week as the global financial crisis batters world economies.

The British pound plunged to its lowest level since June 2002, while the Russian ruble slumped to its lowest since February 2006.

Both the Indian rupee and Philippine peso clawed back some of the losses suffered at the start of the week, but were both still trading at near record lows against the US currency.

The pound ended the week down 1.34 percent at $1.4685, falling to as low as $1.4526 on Friday, after the Bank of England cut its key interest rate to the lowest level since 1951.

The pound has now fallen 30 percent compared to November last year when sterling hit a 26-year high against the dollar.

The ruble ended the week down 0.55 percent at 28.1725 to the dollar, having dropped as low as 28.2766 on Friday, as oil prices continue to fall. The currency is down 22 percent from its nine-year high in July.

The rupee closed the week up 1.37 percent on 49.60 per dollar after tumbling to a fresh all-time low of 50.29 on Monday following the four-day terrorist siege of the country’s financial hub Mumbai.

The rupee is down 26 percent from its ten-year high against the dollar in November last year.

The peso also fell last week, dropping 1.55 percent to 49.455 per dollar, falling as low as 49.75 on Tuesday, and edging back down towards the psychological 50 per dollar mark the currency came close to breaching on Nov. 18.

The Philippine currency is down 22 percent from its eight-year high in February.

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