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Russian Rouble Strengthens, C.Bank Leaves Key Rate Unchanged

MOSCOW, Oct 28 (Reuters) - The rouble strengthened on Friday, hovering between 61 and 62 to the dollar and showing limited reaction to the central bank's decision to leave interest rates unchanged as expected, while Russian stocks climbed to a more than one-month high.

By 1105 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 61.53 and had gained 0.9% to trade at 61.12 versus the euro . It had firmed 0.6% against the yuan to 8.42 .

The central bank's decision to leave its key rate at 7.5% brought an end to a rate-cutting cycle that had unwound an emergency hike to 20% days after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. The decision had been widely anticipated by analysts polled by Reuters.

The central bank said it had noted a pickup in inflation expectations, and warned of long-term pro-inflationary effects from Russia's mobilisation of hundreds of thousands of reservists, which began in September.

Governor Elvira Nabiullina will shed more light on the bank's forecasts and policy in a media briefing at 1200 GMT.

"The regulator is unlikely to make any important statements regarding further monetary policy that will strongly influence rouble dynamics," Alor Broker analysts said in a note, forecasting a hold.

Brent crude oil , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.3% at $96.6 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were higher, reversing earlier losses.

The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% higher at 2,168.8 points, its highest mark since Sept. 23. The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.4% to 1,110.0 points.

Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Peter Graff

Source: Reuters

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