The value of the Russian ruble has sunk to new lows against the U.S. dollar and the euro, even as Moscow's central bank raised its key interest rate again in an effort to bolster the country's faltering economy.
The Russian currency moved above 55 rubles to the dollar for the first time Thursday, and also to new depths against the euro used in Europe's 18-nation currency bloc.
The value of the ruble has fallen 42 percent this year. The Russian economy has been buffeted by U.S. and European sanctions imposed because of President Vladimir Putin's intervention in Ukraine in support of pro-Russian rebels fighting Ukraine's government forces, and also by the sharp decline in the price of oil, a linchpin of Russia's economy.
The central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by a percentage point to 10.5 percent, a move aimed at easing the selling pressure on the currency and to slow rising consumer prices in Russia. The bank said inflation is expected to hit 10 percent this year and rise further in the first months of 2015.
The Russian government is predicting its economy will fall into a recession next year.