Russian rouble firms after hitting one-week low vs dollar


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The Russian rouble firmed on Wednesday, recovering ground after slipping to a one-week low against the dollar in early trade, continuing to move in a relatively narrow range as exporters gear up to pay supportive month-end taxes.

At 0731 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 68.87, recovering from 69.32 hit at market opening, its weakest point since Jan. 18.

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This week, the rouble has tended to gain for most of the day before sliding lower late in the session during thin evening trade.

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Veles Capital analysts said the rouble was continuing its sideways movement of recent days on Wednesday.

The unit had gained 0.2% to trade at 75.06 versus the euro . It was unchanged against the yuan at 10.14 .

The Russian currency typically gains support from month-end tax payments, when exporters convert foreign exchange revenue to pay local liabilities.

A scheduling adjustment means that as of this year, taxes are due in a single payment, which this month falls on Jan. 30.

The rouble is also buttressed by large FX sales by the government, which is offloading up to 3.2 billion roubles ($46.51 million) per day of Chinese yuan, a move analysts say could lead to a vicious circle that sees the rouble strengthen and further reduces the Kremlin’s crucial export revenues.

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The rouble has been under external pressure since a Western price cap on Russia’s oil sales came into force in early December alongside a European Union embargo of Russian oil exports, forcing Moscow to sell at a discount.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.3% at $86.4 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.3% to 993.6 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was flat at 2,172.1 points.

The finance ministry will hold two OFZ treasury bond auctions later on Wednesday, including a new 2029 issue.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see ($1 = 68.8000 roubles) (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Andrew Heavens)



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