Ukraine raises key interest rate by 5.5 percentage points after national currency slides

Following a massive fall in its currency that has stoked inflationary pressures, Ukraine has raised a key interest rate by a massive 5.5 percentage points.

The National Bank of Ukraine said in a statement on Thursday that the refinancing rate has been raised from 14 to 19.5 percent in a bid to "provide a stable and controllable development of the market situation."

The move came following a 46 percent slide in the hryvnia against the U.S. dollar earlier on Thursday. The rate hike appears to have eased the pressure on the currency somewhat and it was trading 18 percent lower at 18 hryvnias per dollar.

Ukraine's economy has been battered by nearly 10 months of fighting between Russia-backed separatists and government troops in eastern Ukraine.