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Markets

Russian rouble slips after strong gains on oil prices

Rouble touched its strongest level since July as oil prices spiked following attacks on crude processing facilities
17 Sep 2019
  • Rouble touched its strongest level since July as oil prices spiked following attacks on crude processing facilities in Saudi Arabia.
  • Brent crude, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, posted its biggest intraday gain since the 1991 Gulf War in response but was down 1.49% on Tuesday at $67.99 a barrel.
  • The Russian currency is not expected to receive a huge boost from higher oil prices

MOSCOW: The Russian rouble weakened slightly on Tuesday after strong gains the day before, following oil prices which were edging down after a surge on Monday as weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities raised fears of a disruption in supply.

At 1143 GMT, the rouble was 0.18% weaker against the dollar at 64.16 and had lost 0.40% to trade at 70.71 versus the euro.

On Monday, the rouble touched its strongest level since July as oil prices spiked following attacks on crude processing facilities in Saudi Arabia, which knocked out 5% of global oil production.

Brent crude, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, posted its biggest intraday gain since the 1991 Gulf War in response but was down 1.49% on Tuesday at $67.99 a barrel.

The Russian currency is not expected to receive a huge boost from higher oil prices, analysts say.

"We don't expect the rouble to strengthen," said Sofya Donets, chief economist for Russia and the CIS at Renaissance Capital. "The events in Saudi Arabia and the increase in oil prices will of course have an effect, but the exchange rate's dependency on oil has considerably lowered in recent years."

Russian stock indexes were also lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.50% to 1,389.1 points, with the rouble-based MOEX Russian index 0.20% lower at 2,828.7 points.

At market opening shares of Russia's top oil producers Rosneft and Lukoil were up by 0.4% and 0.02%, as the market sees them as possible winners from the attacks in Saudi Arabia.

Russia is part of the global oil production cut deal along with OPEC and some other nations but, according to Citibank estimates, has 295,000 barrels per day of idle production capacity which could be brought online relatively quickly.

Shares of Russia's conglomerate Sistema were up 8% after the company announced a plan to buy back up to 3 billion roubles ($46.83 million) worth of shares.