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Ruble’s Two-Minute Rally Shows Russia Guessed Wrong

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The Russian central bank’s gambit worked for all of about two minutes yesterday.

That’s how long the ruble rallied after policy makers 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.