Russia central bank hikes rates as rouble slides

Russian central bank lifts main rate from 8% to 9.5%

City Staff
Friday 31 October 2014 14:13

Russia's central bank has raised its main interest rate by more than anticipated as it tries to stop the rouble from sliding further.

The bank on Friday lifted its main rate from 8 per cent to 9.5 per cent in a move reflecting the bank's concern over the plummeting currency.

The rouble fell to an all-time dollar low of 43.4 earlier this week, but has recovered somewhat trading at around 42 rubles.

The bank has been quickly eating through its hard currency reserves, spending billions of dollars to support the ruble.

Since March, it has raised the rate from 5.5 per cent, but the currency has kept falling amid plummeting oil prices and tensions over Ukraine.

The ruble's sharp fall this year has prompted a surge in inflation that may erode President Vladimir Putin's popularity, who approval rating soared following the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March.

Additional reporting AP

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