Rouble plunges to new lows despite rate hike

The rouble has tumbled to another historic low, despite an emergency attempt by Russia to prop up the rapidly declining currency. In a surprise move late Monday, Moscow’s Central Bank dramatically raised interest rates to 17 per cent from 10.5 per cent.

The move came after the Russian currency experienced its largest one-day decline since Russia’s 1998 financial crisis. The rouble briefly rebounded Tuesday, before plummeting to an all-time low. By noon in Moscow, a dollar was buying 66 roubles.

It is Russia’s most concerted effort yet to stop the devaluation of the rouble, which has lost almost 50 per cent against the dollar this year. Just last week, Russia attempted, and failed, to stop the decline by raising interest rates by one percent.

The Russian currency has been under intense pressure amid Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and plunging oil prices. The Kremlin has tried to reassure Russian citizens the devaluation will be temporary, and that the rouble will eventually regain its value.


(Photo: ann key/