Russia's central bank on Friday cut its benchmark interest rate by two percentage points, to 15% from 17%. The Central Bank of Russia had been expected to hold the rate at 17% after raising it to that level from 10.5% last month in an effort to curb the slide in the ruble. The ruble extended losses against the dollar following Friday's rate cut, with the dollar buying 70.918 rubles compared with 68.902 late Thursday.
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