Kazakh currency recovers somewhat after massive plunge

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MOSCOW (AP) — Kazakhstan's currency recovered some of last week's massive losses against the dollar on Monday, with a rise of over 10 percent Monday.

The tenge had slumped by over 25 percent against the dollar on Thursday, when Kazakhstan's government and central bank moved to a free float, abandoning a trading corridor, in what the government said was a plan to fight inflation and unemployment.

The currency traded at 218.61 to the dollar on Monday morning, down from 252.47 on Friday, but dropped later in the day to close on 225.53.

Central Asian oil producer Kazakhstan's economy has been under pressure from the low oil price and slowdowns in neighboring China and Russia.

Also Monday, the exchange's main stock index closed down 6.6 percent amid a global sell-off, with a 13.6 percent drop in the shares of state oil and gas producer KazMunaiGas and an 8.5 percent fall for copper miner KAZ Minerals.

Last week, Kazakhstan's president Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has held power since the country split from the Soviet Union in 1991, publicly warned his government that Kazakhstan should be ready to deal with oil trading at $30 a barrel, which would further hurt government revenues. Brent crude, a benchmark price for international oil, traded at below $44 a barrel Monday, compared to over $100 at the start of last year.

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