Arab Today, arab today ruble extends historic decline amid freefloat doubts
Last Updated : GMT 16:42:01
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Ruble extends historic decline amid free-float doubts

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Arab Today, arab today Ruble extends historic decline amid free-float doubts

Moscow - AFP

The ruble extended its historic lows on Thursday amid mounting market speculation that the Central Bank may delay a planned 2015 free-float of the Russian currency because of its rapid decline. The euro was up 0.3 percent to 48.20 rubles in afternoon trading on the Moscow Exchange -- above the record high it had set on Wednesday. The dollar also traded up 0.7 percent at 35.42 rubles and appeared on track to add further to a five-year high it established against the beleaguered Russian currency this week. The dual-currency basket of dollars and euros which the central bank uses to set policy had broken the 41.15 low point it established in the February 2009 and stood at 41.165 rubles at 1:30 or 0930 GMT. Russia's Central Bank has reduced the amount of its direct interventions on the market as it moves to a fully floating exchange rate by the start of next year. The ruble has shed more than six percent of its value against the dual currency basket since the start of the year. Both traders and officials said the free-float idea may have to be reviewed in light of the rapid turn of investor sentiment against emerging markets. Did "moving to a free float led to a free-fall?" Moscow's VTB Capital investment bank asked in a research note. "The fall has become so steep that the ruble free-float planned for 2015 may be delayed," the Vedomosti business daily wrote. The influential daily reported that Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev -- the former Central Bank chief whom Vedomosti identified as the "author of the (free-float) idea" -- no longer believes the 2015 target date can be met.

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