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Russia: Financial Markets Plummet Again

Moscow, 7 July 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's financial markets plummeted again today, forcing interest rates up and the ruble down. The stock market lost 7 percent by midday trading and interest rates on short-term government bonds shot up a full 30 percentage points to 120 percent. They stood at 90 percent just yesterday.

The Central Bank was also forced to intervene to halt the slide in the ruble, which nevertheless dropped to 6.245 to the dollar.

Traders said many major dealers and investors sat on the sidelines, unsure whether to sell or buy in the unstable market.

Itar-Tass reports that a new round of talks has now begun in Moscow between government officials and representatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Russia is seeking an additional loan from the IMF of between $10 billion and $15 billion to stabilize its financial markets.

See related story: Russia: Fears Of Ruble Devaluation Stifle Market, Threaten CIS