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MOSCOW: The Russian rouble weakened on Friday after rallying past 63 per dollar in Moscow for the first time since early February 2020 and touching a near five-year high against the euro, supported by continuing restrictions on currency trading.

The rouble is the world’s best-performing currency this year, although this is due to artificial support from capital controls Russia imposed to shield its financial sector in late February after sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine.

The exchange rate is mostly being driven by export-focused companies that have to convert their foreign currency revenues, while demand for forex is limited as imports into Russia have waned amid disruptions in logistics and sweeping Western sanctions.

As of 1133 GMT, the rouble had eased 1.4% to 64.17 against the dollar, after earlier touching 62.6250, its strongest mark since early February 2020.

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday cited the rouble rally as an example of Russia’s sound performance under sanctions.

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