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Markets

Russian rouble gains more than 1%, MOEX hits record high

  • Versus the euro, the rouble gained 1.3% to trade at 89.55, its strongest since Dec. 18. A year ago, the rouble traded at around 68-70 versus the euro.
13 Jan 2021

MOSCOW: The Russian rouble rallied on Tuesday, paring some of the losses it incurred so far this year, while the benchmark MOEX stock index reached a fresh all-time high amid rising oil prices before sliding lower.

At 1613 GMT, the rouble gained 1.4% to 73.63 against the dollar, its strongest since Jan. 6 but still far from the levels of around 62 seen a year ago before the COVID-19 pandemic and a crash in prices for oil, Russia's main export.

Versus the euro, the rouble gained 1.3% to trade at 89.55, its strongest since Dec. 18. A year ago, the rouble traded at around 68-70 versus the euro.

"Risk assets, including the rouble, should get a boost from the incoming (U.S.) administration's plan for economic stimulus, which will be presented this Thursday," Sberbank CIB said in a note.

The rouble is also likely to get support from Russia's seasonally stronger balance of payments this quarter and January's month-end tax payments that start on Friday and usually boost demand for the Russian currency, Otrkitie Bank said.

Recently, the rouble has largely shrugged off a recent surge in oil prices as Russian assets have come under pressure after U.S. intelligence agencies said Russia was likely to have been behind a string of hacks identified last month that gained access to several federal agencies.

Brent crude oil was up 1.6% at $56.56 a barrel, hovering above levels of around $51.50 seen in late 2020, and buttressing Russian stocks.

The rouble-based MOEX Russian index hit yet another record high of 3,520.66, before ending the day 0.3% lower at 3,471.65.

The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 1.3% to 1,484.96 points after climbing to its highest levels since late February 2020.