The ruble fell, extending its worst start to the year since 2009, as the escalating conflict in Ukraine boosted the likelihood of further sanctions against Russia. The currency is headed for a 12 percent drop in January, the worst performance in emerging markets this month. With oil trading near the lowest level since 2009 and violence spreading in eastern Ukraine, only one of 32 economists in a Bloomberg survey expects the central bank to pare back December’s emergency 6.5 percentage point rate increase at a meeting today. Pressure on the ruble “will escalate” and the currency will weaken 16 percent to 82 rubles per dollar in the next three months, according to Credit Suisse AG. Russia’s economy is set for a 5.6 percent contraction this year and the world’s biggest energy exporter won’t repeat 2009’s V-shaped rebound “particularly given the rising risk of further sanctions,” Morgan Stanley […]