As tighter lockdowns threaten oil demand, the Russian ruble feels the pressure

The ruble tumbled past 80 against the dollar, trading at its weakest level since March, as tighter lockdowns in Europe threatened demand for crude, Russia’s key export earner.

The ruble has been under pressure for months amid fears of new sanctions, low oil prices and rising coronavirus cases. Concern that Joe Biden may crack down on Russia should he win this week’s U.S. presidential vote has contributed to the currency’s more than 7% slide in the past three months.

Crude sank to a five-month low as a continued increase in Libyan production coincided with a wave of new restrictions to combat the virus. Swathes of Europe enter lockdown this week, with England joining nations from Austria to Portugal taking tougher action to counter virus infections.

Despite this year’s currency slump, foreign investors still hold more than 3 trillion rubles ($37 billion) of domestic government bonds, close to a record high. … Read More

T-cell study adds to debate over duration of COVID-19 immunity By Reuters

© Reuters. A 3D-printed coronavirus model is seen in front of a world map and the words “CoronaVirus Disease (Covid-19)” on display in this illustration

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – A small UK study has found that “cellular immunity” to the pandemic SARS-CoV-2 virus is present after six months in people who had mild or asymptomatic COVID-19 infections – suggesting they might have some level of protection for at least that time.

Scientists presenting the findings, from 100 non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients in Britain, said they were “reassuring” but did not mean people cannot in rare cases be infected twice with the disease.

“While our findings cause us to be cautiously optimistic about the strength and length of immunity generated after SARS-CoV-2 infection, this is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Paul Moss, a professor of haematology at Britain’s Birmingham University who co-led the study.

“There is still a

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