US stocks hit by falls in oil and rouble



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(Close): Worries over the global economic situation sent share prices lower on Wall Street as investors shunned stocks.

Confidence was hit by a dramatic slide in the value of Russia's rouble, while oil prices fell to their lowest level since May 2009.

Stocks with Russian links were punished and investors looked to bonds for refuge.

The Dow Jones fell 111.97 points, or 0.65%, to 17,068.87.

The S&P 500 dropped 16.89 points, or 0.85%, to 1,972.74, while the Nasdaq fell 57.32 points, or 1.24%, to 4,547.83.

The 30-year US Treasury yield touched 2.67%, which was the lowest level since September 2012, according to Reuters data.

Russia's central bank made a dramatic attempt to prop up the value of the rouble by raising interest rates to 17% from 10.5%.

But the move failed to work, with the rouble tumbling to a record low of 79 to the dollar, before recovering to about 68.

Oil prices have continued to fall. Brent crude fell to $58.50 a barrel at one point, the lowest since May 2009, before creeping back to $59.74, while US crude fell to $55.83 a barrel.

Citigroup dropped 3.1% after concerns that it is more exposed to Russia than other large lenders.