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The Russian central bank's gambit to prop op the ruble worked for all of about two minutes Friday. That's how long the currency rallied after policymakers surprised investors by ratcheting up the benchmark interest rate 1.5 percentage points to 9.5 percent in the afternoon. After that, it was right back to declines for the world's worst-performing currency, with losses swelling to as much as 3.6 percent against the dollar, the biggest drop in three years. Since Putin began his incursion into Ukraine's Crimea peninsula eight months ago, the ruble is down 17 percent.Once it has spent $350 million supporting the currency, the central bank moves the band by 5 kopeks.The central bank said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg News that its intervention policy didn't change on Oct. 30, when the ruble gained as much as 5.1 percent per dollar.
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