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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Ukraine's central bank drives short-term rates leading to jump in hryvnia

Ukraine's central bank recently engineered a sharp rise in short-term interest rates, resulting in the hryvnia jumping from four-year lows on Monday.

The move forced commercial banks to scramble for the local currency, driving the increase in the hryvnia's exchange value, which had been hit by political unrest, Reuters reports.

Overnight rates jumped to approximately 20 percent, motivating some banks to sell dollars on Monday in order to meet their daily funding needs.

"The National Bank fought off the attack by the currency speculators," Oleksander Okhrimenko, the president of the Ukrainian Analytical Center in Kiev, said, Reuters reports. "The National Bank carried out dollar-buying intervention and on the other hand it has been withdrawing hryvnia from the system."

One-week market rates surged to 18 percent, with one-month and three-month money market rates soaring to their highest in a year.

The hryvnia is still under severe stress in forward markets, despite the central bank's efforts.