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Russian central bank hikes key interest rate******
A woman walks past a board showing currency exchange rates of the US dollar and the euro against Russian ruble in Moscow.
Russia's central bank more than doubled its key policy rate yesterday and unveiled some capital controls as it scrambled to shield the economy from unprecedented Western sanctions that sent the rouble tumbling to record lows.
The main interest rate will rise to 20 percent, its highest this century, from 9.5 percent to counter the risks of the rouble's rapid depreciation and higher inflation, which threaten Russians' savings.
"External conditions for the Russian economy have drastically changed," the central bank said, adding that the hike "will ensure a rise in deposit rates to levels needed to compensate for the increased depreciation and inflation risk.
The monetary authority also ordered companies to sell 80 percent of their foreign currency revenues, increased the range of securities that can be used as collateral to get loans and temporarily banned Russian brokers from selling securities held by foreigners. It did not specify which securities the ban applies to.
The emergency measures put the central bank on the frontline of defending Russia against a campaign by Western allies to isolate it economically.
The central bank has itself been targeted, with the West seeking to restrict its ability to deploy US$640 billion of forex and gold reserves and cut Russia's major banks off the SWIFT financial network, making it hard for lenders and companies to make and receive payments.
The rouble plunged nearly 30 percent to an all-time low versus the US dollar yesterday. The stock market and derivatives market remained closed.
Yesterday's steps by the central bank bolster other measures announced on Sunday, including an assurance that the bank would resume buying gold on the domestic market. It will also launch a repurchase auction with no limits and ease restrictions on banks' open foreign currency positions.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said that the government was ready to strengthen commercial banks' capital base if required.
Russians queued outside ATMs on Sunday, worried the sanctions could trigger cash shortages and disrupt normal life.
Winning the only option for Barca as Koeman's side entertain Dynamo Kiev******
MADRID, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona face the first of two season-defining games when they play Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League on Wednesday night in a game they have to win.
Although some sectors of the press are already looking ahead to Sunday's 'El Clasico' against Real Madrid, Barca have to give their full attention to Wednesday's game if they are to avoid an early exit from Europe.
3-0 defeats to Bayern Munich and Benfica in their first two group games mean that Barca have to win both of their matches against the Ukrainian side to have a chance of reaching the knockout stages - something that is vital not just for the club's sporting prestige, but also for its cash-strapped finances.
Barcelona got off to a good start to the week when they beat Valencia 3-1 on Sunday night, with Ansu Fati making a huge impact on his return from injury.
Barca coach Ronald Koeman replaced the 18-year-old after an hour and Fati is certain to start on Wednesday, with Memphis Depay alongside him in attack.
Koeman will have to make adjustments in defense, however, where an injury to Ronald Araujo and Eric Garcia's suspension after he was sent off in Lisbon means that either Samuel Umtiti or Clement Lenglet will partner Gerard Pique at the heart of the Barca defense.
The Dutchman clearly has no faith in either of the two players, but it is Lenglet, who has one appearance this season, who is likely to get the nod, while Jordi Alba and Sergi Roberto continue as full-backs.
Koeman is still without the injured Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Martin Braithwaite, but will have Sergio Aguero on the bench after the Argentinian's long-awaited debut in the closing minutes of Sunday's win.
Two more Spanish sides are in Champions League action on Wednesday night with Villarreal needing to bounce back from their first La Liga defeat of the campaign in their visit to Young Boys in Switzerland.
Villarreal are currently bottom of their group and need at least a point to avoid being cut off from the top.
Meanwhile, Sevilla travel to Lille in a tight Group G, where they have two draws from their first two matches in the stage. Enditem