Russia cuts key rate for first time in 10 months
Russia's central bank today cut its key interest rate from 11% to 10.5%, the first reduction in 10 months after a recovery by the rouble on the back of oil price rises and a drop in inflation fears. 

"The Bank of Russia Board of Directors decided to reduce the key rate from 11% to 10.5%," the bank said in a statement. 

"The Board of Directors notes the positive trends of more stable inflation, decreased inflation expectations and inflation risks against the backdrop of imminent growth recovery in the economy," it added. 

Russia is desperate to breathe life into its energy-driven economy, which is mired in a recession caused mainly by the drop in oil prices and Western sanctions imposed over Moscow's meddling in Ukraine. 

The rouble has risen some 25% since January as the price of oil has nearly doubled after hitting its lowest point in over a decade. 

The rise in the national currency had ramped up pressure on the bank to cut its rate for the first time since last July. 

The International Monetary Fund predicts that Russia's economy will contract by some 1.5% this year.