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Russian central bank chief hints at possible rate hike

The head of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation hinted at the possibility of raising its key rate next week or keeping it at 7.25% amid increased volatility in domestic and international financial markets, Reuters reported.

Central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina said a "substantial" number of factors support the case for maintaining the rate, but others "allow for considering" a potential increase.

Nabiullina said there are no grounds for cutting the benchmark rate, according to the report, as annual inflation has picked up faster than expected toward the central bank's target.

The Russian ruble strengthened briefly against the dollar following Nabiullina's comments, but later pared gains. The currency was trading at 68.06 per dollar as of 12:25 p.m. ET.

The central bank is scheduled to release its next monetary policy report Sept. 14. It kept the benchmark rate unchanged in July.