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Russian central bank pledges to defend rouble against slide

Published on Jan 30, 2014 8:16 PM

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia's central bank pledged on Thursday to launch unlimited foreign exchange interventions if the rouble's exchange rate strays outside its target corridor, a response to the worldwide emerging market selloff.

In a statement, the central bank said interventions would be "unlimited in volumes until the point when the value of the dual currency basket returns to the operational range".

The bank runs a "dirty" float in which it conducts currency interventions when the rouble approaches the boundaries of a seven-rouble corridor against a currency basket made up of dollars and euros.

It wants to move to a free float by the start of next year, but the rouble's 6 per cent slide this year has already led Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev - a former central banker - to call for a delay.

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