Russian central bank slashes key interest rate

 
Jessica Morris
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Russia's economy has struggled amid Western sanctions and low global oil prices (Source: Getty)

The Central Bank of Russia has slashed its main interest rate by one percentage point to 11.5 per cent, amid a strengthening currency and inflation risks.

It's slowed the pace at which it was cutting rates - the central bank cut the main interest rate by two percentage points in January, one percentage point in March and 1.5 percentage points in April.

"The Bank of Russia will be ready to continue cutting the key rate as consumer price growth declines further in compliance with the forecast but the potential of monetary policy easing will be limited by inflation risks in the next few months," it said.

Late last year it was forced to hike interest rates to 17 per cent due to the collapsing value on the rouble and rising inflation. So far this year it has moved to ease this with a series of interest rate cuts.

Read more: Russia hikes interest rates to 17pc as rouble crashes

Russia's economy has struggled amid Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, as well as low global oil prices - and there are more challenges on the horizon.

"The oil price at $60 is still a problem for the Russian central bank and we could expect more rate cuts to come to fade the effects of the falling oil price," Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said.

"Another major factor for the bank is the inflation rate and as long as the bank does not feel comfortable with this, we could see more rate cuts."

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