The Bank of Russia on Friday cut interest rates for the second time in two months, saying the "balance of risks is still shifted towards a more significant cooling of the economy." The central bank cut its key rate to 14% from 15%, which was widely expected by economists. It also lowered its repo rate and deposit rate by a percentage point each to 15% and 13%, respectively. In December, Russia raised its key rate to 17% from 10.5% in a bid to stem a sharp decline in the ruble that was sinking to record lows against the dollar and euro. In January, the Bank of Russia cut the rate to 15%. The ruble eased back against the dollar on Friday, so that the greenback bought 61.377 rubles, up from 61.336 late on Thursday.
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