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Given the precipitous fall in the value of the ruble it would be perfectly rational to expect the CBR to refrain from lowering interest rates on March 20, in the opinion of analysts at Rabobank. USD/RUB trades at 79.917.

Key quotes

“It is a very close call and actually may sound counterintuitive given that on previous occasions the CBR made an effort to defend the ruble. But, it could be different this time and we expect a 50bps cut to 5.50% on Friday.”

“The main negative implication of such a decision, albeit short-lived, would be an initial spike higher in USD/RUB.” 

“The market should soon realise that it is actually a perfectly rational decision as it would indicate that the CBR intends to reduce the risk of a severe recession caused by the precipitous fall in oil prices.”