Global markets were blindsided by Russia in the third week of December as Moscow raised its key interest rates to a shocking 17 per cent, up significantly from the 10.5 per cent level they had been just raised to a few days earlier. Why the rate increase? The ruble has been free-falling this year with their involvement in Ukraine resulting in Western economic sanctions against the Kremlin. This, combined with the fall oil prices below $60 and $63 per barrel for WTI and Brent crude respectively, has forced Moscow to spend more than $80 billion in reserves to slow down…
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