Cutting hedges

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For much of 2008, Russia looked set to escape the extreme turmoil that wreaked havoc in Western economies badly hit by the credit crisis. The commodities boom, the engine for Russia's export-led growth and key driver of the strength of the rouble, was still much in evidence. Even though the active-month West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit a record high of $146.69 a barrel on July 14, 2008, bullish analysts were forecasting its ascent

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