Russia hikes key interest rate to 7pc

Harriet Green
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Russia’s central bank has said it’s upping its benchmark interest rate by 1.5 percentage points to seven per cent, as the rouble drops to a record low this morning to 36.90 per dollar.

The move is in response to increased levels of volatility in financial markets, the bank said, and comes into immediate effect.

"The decision is directed at preventing risks to inflation and financial stability associated with the increased level of volatility in the financial markets."

The rouble fell 2.3 per cent just before the decision.

One dollar is currently trading at 36.59 roubles.

The Micex stock exchange opened down almost eight per cent today - the biggest fall its seen since 2009.