World Economy

Russia central bank hikes rates as ruble tanks

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) raised its key interest rate by 100 basis points on Thursday in an effort to support its currency, which has fallen over 65 percent against the dollar this year.

The Russian ruble hit an all-time low of 55.46 against the dollar following the announcement. The central bank raised its key interest rate to 10.5 percent and warned about the future of Russia's embattled economy.

Five thousand rouble notes.
Stepan Popov | E+ | Getty Images

Economic growth in the country will be close to zero in 2015-16, according to the CBR, and inflation could hit 10 percent in the first three months of 2015, heightening the pressure on Russian consumers.

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The currency's slide comes on the back on a sharp decline in the price of oil – Russia's main export and revenue source. The country's central bank has hiked interest rates throughout the year in an attempt to bolster the country's struggling economy, which – along with falling commodity prices – is battling sanctions from the West and subsequent capital outflows.

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There are growing concerns about the strength of the economy, and on Tuesday the World Bank revised down Russia's growth projections for 2015/2016. It now predicts that the Russian economy will contract by 0.7 percent in 2015, amid continued volatility in oil prices.

Timothy Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank, said the Russian rate rise reminded him of Turkey, which delivered a massive hike in interest rates in January to defend its currency.

"The central bank (is) lagging behind the curve, and (is) likely to be forced by the market into an even larger rate hike to eventually stop the rot," Ash said in a note.

Read MoreTurkey delivers massive rate hike to defend lira