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Markets

Rouble slips on risk-off sentiment, bond auctions in focus

The rouble was 0.5pc weaker against the dollar at 71.16 and had lost 0.3pc to trade at 78.03 versus the euro.
27 May 2020
  • The rouble was 0.5pc weaker against the dollar at 71.16 and had lost 0.3pc to trade at 78.03 versus the euro.
  • The rouble also retains support from the central bank's daily sales of foreign currency.
  • The bank said on Wednesday it had sold $321 million worth of foreign currency on May 22 and May 25.

MOSCOW: The Russian rouble slipped against the US dollar at the market opening on Wednesday, weighed down by investors' risk-off sentiment fuelled by growing tensions between the United States and China.

At 0725 GMT, the rouble was 0.5pc weaker against the dollar at 71.16 and had lost 0.3pc to trade at 78.03 versus the euro.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Washington would announce before the end of the week a strong response to China's planned national security legislation for Hong Kong that would reduce its separate legal status.

Despite investors shying away from high-risk assets, they might need to convert foreign currency into roubles to take part in two OFZ treasury bond auctions by Russia's finance ministry later on Wednesday.

The rouble also retains support from the central bank's daily sales of foreign currency.

The bank said on Wednesday it had sold $321 million worth of foreign currency on May 22 and May 25.

More actions from the central bank are in focus as it is likely to cut rates next month to support the economy, hit hard by low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 370,000 people in the vast nation of 145 million.

Data released late on Tuesday showed that retail sales in Russia fell more than expected in April, while unemployment jumped during its first full month of coronavirus lockdowns.

Russian stock indexes were trading lower as oil prices fell on concerns over how quickly fuel demand will recover this year.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 1.6pc at $35.58 a barrel.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.8pc to 1,215.1 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index was trading 0.3pc lower at 2,743.3 points.