Rouble boosted by oil price recovery, Russian tax demands

Madiha Shakeel December 24, 2018

MOSCOW: The Russian rouble firmed in thin trade on Monday, stepping away from weakest levels since September hit last week thanks to a recovery in oil prices and increased demand due to month-end tax payments.

At 0752 GMT, the rouble was 0.8 percent stronger against the dollar at 68.38, moving away from 69.13, its weakest level since mid-September hit on Friday.

Versus the euro, the rouble gained 0.5 percent to 77.84 versus.

“In the run-up to the Christmas and New Year holidays, risk-sentiment will still likely remain vulnerable,” analysts at VTB Capital said in a note.

Brent crude dynamics will be the most important driver for the rouble, while month-end tax payments “will likely provide some breathing space for it from the local side,” VTB Capital said.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, rose 0.6 percent to $54.14 a barrel, up from this year’s low of $52.79 touched on Friday.

Local month tax payments usually prompt export-focused companies convert their revenues on the market in order to meet local duties, which supports the rouble.

Russian stock indexes were down.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was 0.12 percent lower at 1,075.8 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index shed 0.5 percent to 2,334.3 points.

Copyright Reuters, 2018

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