The Russian ruble is climbing after the Central Bank of Russia cut rates by more than expected.
The petro-currency is up by 0.3% at 56.7957 per dollar as of 8:07 a.m. ET after climbing by 0.5% earlier.
The Russian central bank lowered rates earlier Friday by 50 basis points to 9.25%. Most economists were expecting a 25 basis point cut.
The bank’s accompanying statement had a relatively more dovish tone.
The bank noted that inflation is moving towards the target, inflation expectations are still dropping, and economic activity is recovering.
It added that going forward, it will “assess the probability of a baseline scenario implementation (where oil prices drop to $US40 per barrel) and the scenario with rising oil prices, alongside with assessing inflation and the economy dynamics relative to the forecast.”
“[T]he statement seems to have reduced the importance attached to measures of inflation expectations, acknowledging (belatedly) that these tend to lag actual inflation,” William Jackson, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said in a note. “Previously, the Bank had used high inflation expectations as justification not to lower rates.”
“What’s more, while the statement warned that the fading impact of recent good harvests might push food inflation up in the coming months, it went to great lengths to stress that this would be temporary — something it hasn’t done in the past.”
Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested certain “market-based measures” might be needed.
As for the rest of the world, here’s the scoreboard as of 8:01 a.m. ET:
- The euro is up by 0.6% at 1.0934 against the dollar after eurozone CPI came in at 1.9% year-over-year in April, above expectations of 1.8%, and above the prior reading of 1.5%.
- The British pound is up by 0.3% at 1.2940 against the dollar after data released by the Office for National Statistics suggests the Brexit slowdown has arrived. The UK’s economy grew by 0.3% in the first quarter, the slowest growth since the first quarter of 2016. The drop off was largely driven by the services sector, the economy’s largest driver of growth.
- The US dollar index is down by 0.3% at 98.78 ahead of a bunch of data. The Employment Cost Index, GDP, and core PCE will all be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before Chicago PMI and University of Michigan consumer confidence cross the wires at 9:45 a.m. ET and 10 a.m. ET.
- The Japanese yen is down by 0.2% at 111.44 per dollar.
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