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Ruble, rand end year on strong note

Petroleum rebound gave resource producers' currencies a big boost

TOKYO -- After a weak start, currencies of resource exporters surged toward the close of 2016 as crude oil prices regained strength after the much-anticipated OPEC deal to lower output.

Russia's status as the world's No. 3 oil producer tightly links the ruble to the price of crude. After crude oil futures plunged below the $30-a-barrel range at the start of the year, the currency came under broad selling, depreciating to an all-time low of around 85.98 against the dollar at one point in January.

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