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Markets

Russian rouble firms on rise in oil and risk sentiment

The rouble was 0.8pc stronger against the dollar at 71.08 and had gained 0.5pc to trade at 77.72 versus the euro.
26 May 2020
  • The rouble was 0.8pc stronger against the dollar at 71.08 and had gained 0.5pc to trade at 77.72 versus the euro.
  • Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 2.5pc at $36.43 a barrel.
  • The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.9pc to 1,235.9 points.

MOSCOW: The Russian rouble firmed on Tuesday, edging back towards a 10-week high hit last week, supported by rising oil prices and renewed risk appetite as countries gradually lift lockdown restrictions.

At 0722 GMT, the rouble was 0.8pc stronger against the dollar at 71.08 and had gained 0.5pc to trade at 77.72 versus the euro.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 2.5pc at $36.43 a barrel.

"Trade has exhibited a spate of exuberance - justified to a degree as countries worldwide begin to ease their economy-shattering lockdowns," BCS Global Markets said in a note.

It said Brent had recouped some ground on an improving demand outlook, producer supply curbs and the Russian energy ministry's view the oil market could rebalance as early as June or July.

Domestically, the rouble received support from the central bank's foreign currency sales, which stood at the equivalent of 11.4 billion roubles ($160.2 million) a day for most of last week.

The central bank, which reveals the amount of forex sales with a two-day lag, reported no interventions for Friday, citing Monday's holiday in the United States. It will report its sales for Friday and Monday on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday urged Russians to holiday at home rather than abroad to try to limit the spread of coronavirus, which could in theory support the rouble by curbing outflows this summer.

The rouble should be buttressed at Wednesday's weekly OFZ treasury bond auctions by the finance ministry, with Russia's sovereign debt in demand following repeated central bank hints it will cut rates in June, encouraging fixed income investors to take advantage of higher yields.

Russian stock indexes rose.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.9pc to 1,235.9 points.

The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.1pc higher at 2,787.7 points.