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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ruble Holds At 572 to $1

The ruble was unchanged at 572 per dollar on Moscow's Interbank Currency Exchange on Thursday, the third straight session at that level.

The Russian currency has plunged from 417 at the start of the year, passing the 500 per dollar barrier on Jan. 26 amid fears of hyperinflation. The ruble is not fully convertible, but twice weekly sessions on the exchange give limited opportunities for trade to about 60 banks.

Interfax said $46. 5 million changed hands at Thursday's session, down sharply from volumes seen earlier in the year. Initial offer was $50. 0 million, while demand was $43. 7 million.

Volumes traded on the exchange are tiny compared with world currency trading, but the exchange has won significance because the Russian Central Bank uses the rate set on the exchange as its benchmark market rate. Despite calls for returning to a controlled, two-tiered exchange rate, the Central Bank will stick with a single ruble exchange rate, Itar-Tass quoted an official of the bank as saying.