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Central Bank Tested as Ruble Falls to Record Lows

Published: February 20, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • The ruble has been one of the fastest fallers amid 2014 emerging market currency declines.
    Photo: Andrei Makhonin / Vedomosti

The Russian ruble continued to slide Wednesday, reaching a historic minimum against the euro as its fall brought the central bank close to the point where it would be committed to unlimited interventions to prop up the currency.

The euro climbed to more than 49 rubles Wednesday, while the dollar rose to 35.76 rubles, its highest level against the ruble since March 2009, according to data from the Moscow Exchange.

Related: Why the Ruble Is Sinking

The value of the euro-dollar basket, the benchmark used by the central bank, reached 41.8 rubles in afternoon trading, close to the upper limit of the ruble corridor set by the regulator.

If the ruble strays outside of the corridor, the central bank has said it will conduct unlimited interventions to bring the currency back within its target range.

The ruble has been one of the fastest fallers amid 2014 emerging market currency declines. This year alone the Russian currency has lost over 6 percent of its value against the euro-dollar basket.

Related: Economist Advises Russians to Dump Ruble, Buy Hard Currency

Russian officials have denied that the authorities are deliberately allowing the ruble to weaken in order to raise export revenue and stimulate the country’s flagging economy.

Unlike central banks in other emerging markets, the Russian regulator has not raised rates in an attempt to stem the ruble’s slide.

In an apparent attempt to balance the dual challenges of stubbornly high inflation and stagnant economic growth, the central bank kept interest rates on hold following its policy meeting last week.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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