European shares clung to seven-year highs on Monday, lifted by merger activity in the telecoms sector, while Asian stocks edged up after China cut interest rates at the weekend.
Russians with foreign-currency mortgages have written an open letter to President Vladimir Putin seeking help with repayments that have soared because of the ruble's plunge, saying they were misled by banks.
Rosneft is raising money from Swiss trader Trafigura days before it must repay a $7 billion debt and squeezed by sanctions, industry sources said, seeking new options after a foray into the bond market fueled a devaluation of the rouble.
McDonald's Corp. (MCD.N) will open fewer new restaurants in Russia this year than last because a fall in the rouble has increased expansion costs and is hurting consumers, its Russian chief executive Khamzat Khasbulatov told Reuters.
The Russian rouble staged an uncertain recovery on Tuesday as traders saw modest foreign-currency sales on the final day of trading before the New Year holidays.
Russia's economy shrank sharply in November and the rouble resumed its slide on Monday as Western sanctions and a slump in oil prices combined to inflict the first contraction in GDP since the global financial crisis.
Russia's rouble strengthened on Thursday as exporters sold foreign currency in response to government pressure and to meet tax payments, but trading volumes were thin as many Western markets were closed for the Christmas Day holidays.
China's trade minister proposed more use of China's currency in settling trade with Russia in the face of a falling rouble to ensure safe and reliable trade, Hong Kong broadcaster Phoenix TV reported on Saturday.
Late on Monday night Russia's central bank governor wrung out an agreement with her officials to impose the country's biggest rate hike since the financial crisis of 1998 -- with the approval of President Vladimir Putin.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a strong signal that it was on track to raise interest rates sometime next year, altering a pledge to keep rates near zero for a "considerable time" in a show of confidence in the U.S. economy.
U.S. stocks fell for a third day in a volatile session Tuesday, led by declines in consumer discretionary and technology shares, while another drop in the Russian rouble added to worries about the global economy.
The ruble plunged more than 10 percent for the second day on Tuesday and recorded its worst fall since the Russian financial crisis in 1998 as confidence in the central bank evaporated after an ineffectual overnight rate hike.
Oil fell to just above $59 a barrel for the first time since May 2009 on Tuesday, extending a six-month selloff as slowing Chinese factory activity and weakening emerging-market currencies added to concerns about demand.
European stocks and government bonds dipped on Monday as weak data from Asia, a rating downgrade for Italy and the slump in oil prices stoked concerns about global growth.
With Russia's economy battered by economic sanctions and plunging oil prices, President Vladimir Putin has allowed the central bank to administer strong medicine, sharply raising interest rates even as it freed the rouble to float.