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Markets

Russian rouble steadies, stocks rise on last trading day of 2020

  • The Moscow Exchange will be closed for four days from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3, but many traders will be away from their desks for longer as Russia's holiday season ends on Jan. 11.
Published December 30, 2020
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MOSCOW: The Russian rouble steadied on Wednesday, remaining under pressure from Russia-specific concerns about new possible sanctions, while stocks rose in light trade on the last trading day of 2020.

By 0743 GMT, the rouble was flat at 74 against the dollar and eased 0.2% to 90.87 versus the euro.

So far this year, the rouble has lost about 16% of its value versus the greenback and shed 23% against the European currency, taking a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, a crash in oil prices and Russia-specific concerns about new possible sanctions.

In 2021, the rouble is expected to partly recover but will still be far from levels seen in early 2020 before the pandemic.

Volatility in the Russian market could increase in the next few days as trading activity will wane further ahead of Russia's long New Year holidays.

The Moscow Exchange will be closed for four days from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3, but many traders will be away from their desks for longer as Russia's holiday season ends on Jan. 11.

Russian stock indexes were up, reflecting a 0.7% increase in Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, to $51.42 a barrel.

The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 0.1% to 1,400.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.4% higher at 3,288.1 points, nearing an all-time high of 3,318.39 hit on Dec. 17.

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