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Russia to resume open-market foreign currency buys

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MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian Finance Ministry says it will start buying foreign currency on the open market next week, five months after purchases were suspended to support the ruble.

The ministry says that 265.8 billion rubles ($4 billion) of purchases are planned between Jan. 15 and Feb. 6 at a rate of 15.6 billion rubles ($230 million) per day.

The central bank, which buys the currency on behalf of the ministry, stopped open-market purchases in August as the ruble lost value amid fears over possible new U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Since then, the immediate threat of new sanctions has receded with political deadlock in the U.S. The Russian Finance Ministry did not give an explanation for the resumption of purchases or their volume.

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