Ruble tumbles before Central Bank key rate decision
The ruble resumed its decline on Friday at the opening of the Moscow Exchange, sinking back to 60 against the US dollar. This comes hours ahead of the Central Bank decision on whether to cut the key rate further amidst low oil prices and a weak currency.
At the last meeting in June the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) cut the rate by 100 basis points to 11.5 percent, saying inflationary risks were fading away. The new rate decision is expected to be announced at 10:30 GMT, with most analysts, including HSBC, Raiffeisen Bank and Sberbank, expecting another cut to 11 percent, which would be the fifth this year, RBC reports citing its poll. If true, this would be the smallest cut since January, but could pose certain risks to the ruble’s rate and inflation.
Expectations of another rate cut are driving the Russian currency lower in the early trading on the Moscow Exchange Friday. As of 08:20 GMT, the ruble was trading at 60.4 against dollar and 66 against the euro. Brent oil is also losing its value, trading at $52.87 per barrel, almost a percent lower than on Thursday. In July alone, Brent crude shed more than 16 percent of its value.