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The latest developments in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. All times EDT.
12:02 a.m.: The Russian central bank diverged from its Western counterparts by slashing its key interest rate Friday, one month after dropping it to where it was before the country sent troops into Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
The bank lowered its key rate by 1.5 percentage points, to 8%, saying consumer prices are easing partly because consumer demand has been falling. It said inflation expectations have “significantly decreased,” reaching spring 2021 levels, while a decline in business activity was slower than expected in June.
The central bank had hiked the rate as high as 20% in the wake of the Feb. 24 military operation in Ukraine and the resulting Western sanctions that restrict dealings with Russian banks, individuals and companies.
As sanctions and the exit of Western companies from Russia have led to global economic isolation, the central bank has managed to stabilize the currency and financial system by preventing money from leaving Russia and forcing exporters to exchange most of their foreign earnings into rubles.
The ruble traded at 58.8 to the dollar Friday, making it worth more than the day before the invasion of Ukraine, when it took 78.8 rubles to reach $1.
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.
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