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Markets

Russian rouble hits near 10-wk high, stocks extend rally on vaccine optimism

  • At 0742 GMT, the rouble was 0.3pc stronger against the dollar at 75.35, earlier reaching 75.3025, its strongest level since Sept. 18.
26 Nov 2020

MOSCOW: The rouble firmed on Thursday, hitting a near 10-week high against the U.S. dollar, while Russian stocks continued their rally, pushed up by relatively high oil prices and hopes for a vaccine against COVID-19.

At 0742 GMT, the rouble was 0.3pc stronger against the dollar at 75.35, earlier reaching 75.3025, its strongest level since Sept. 18.

It had gained 0.1pc to trade at 89.94 versus the euro .

"On the foreign exchange market, consolidation near the 75.50 rouble to dollar mark is possible in the short term," said Anton Startsev, an analyst at Olma Investment Group.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.1pc at $48.58 a barrel, but near its highest level since early March.

Hopes for COVID-19 vaccines, expectations of central bank stimulus and the improving economic growth outlook were all supporting risk assets, said BCS Global Markets analysts said in a note.

"The trio that has injected optimism into the risk trade remains alive and well."

However, analysts warned that the continued rise in coronavirus cases around the world and the related health restrictions threaten a swift global economic recovery.

Trading volumes are likely to be lower on Thursday, with markets in the United States closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Russian stock indexes were climbing to months-long highs.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1pc to 1,314.7 points, its best since Aug. 19.

The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.3pc higher at 3,144.4 points, at a more than nine-month high.

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