BAKU, April 8 (Reuters) - Azerbaijan’s central bank on Wednesday further devalued its currency to 1.0517 manats to the dollar from 1.0496 and said that fluctuations were natural under its policy of a managed float.
The bank said on April 1 it was moving towards a managed float of the currency after it devalued the manat on Feb. 21 by 33.5 percent to the dollar and 30 percent to euro. Slumping oil prices and an economic crisis in major trading partner Russia were putting pressure on the currency.
“The manat’s rate is formed by the (currency) basket, which includes euro and the U.S. dollar. It means that daily changes in the euro-dollar rate have an impact on the manat’s rate to the dollar,” the central bank said in a statement.
“We have been monitoring euro’s depreciation to dollar on the international currency market in the last two days and it lead to the soft changes in the dollar’s rate to manat.”
The bank abandoned the manat’s dollar peg on Feb. 16 and began using a dollar-euro basket to manage the exchange rate after a nearly 60 percent drop in crude prices since June and Western sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea. (Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Larry King)