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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

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The city’s Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during today’s Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the club’s website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBA’s and Capital Legal Service’s event “Arctic Expedition” this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers’ ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



To have your event included in All About Town, email tot@sptimes.ru



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