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Russia hikes bank rate to 17% to protect rouble

Russia’s central bank has hiked its key interest rate from 10.5 per cent to 17 per cent in a bid to halt the rouble’s recent fall in the value.

The currency has lost 50 per cent against the US dollar this year as falling oil process and trading sanctions have begun to bite on the economy, the BBC reports.

Before the rate rise, a dollar bought 67 roubles. The move pushed the rouble’s value up, at 58 to the dollar, before dropping back, to 62.

Capital Economics chief emerging markets economist Neil Shearing says the rate hike “could prove to be a turning point in the 2014 rouble crisis.

“The price, however, will be a further tightening of credit conditions for households and businesses and a deeper downturn in the real economy in 2015,” he says.

The central bank has spent about £45bn supporting the rouble since the start of the year.

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