Russian rouble plunges past 66 vs dollar, weakest since May


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MOSCOW — The Russian rouble slumped to a more than six-month low past 66 per dollar on Monday, hurt by relatively low oil prices and fears that sanctions on Russian oil could crimp the country’s export revenues.

By 0904 GMT, the rouble was 2.4% weaker against the dollar at 66.22, its weakest mark since May 30.

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The rouble had lost 2% to trade at 70.45 versus the euro , earlier hitting its weakest since May 27. It had also shed 2.2% against the yuan to 9.48, its weakest level since early July.

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Relatively low oil prices and risks of lower export revenues in the light of the $60-a-barrel price cap on Russian oil imposed by the G7, the European Union and Australia, have put downward pressure on the rouble.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.5% at $79.5 a barrel, but this month has traded at its lowest all year.

Upcoming month-end tax payments, when exporters convert foreign currency revenues into roubles to pay local liabilities, should offer support.

“Our view on oil, upcoming taxes and dividends allow us to maintain a forecast for a small rise in the near term (to 63-64/USD),” Dmitry Polevoy, head of investment at Locko Invest, wrote in a note.

The rouble barely reacted on Friday, when Russia’s central bank held its key interest rate at 7.5% at its final meeting of the year but slightly shifted its rhetoric to acknowledge growing inflation risks, saying a recent military mobilization was adding to labor shortages.

Russian stock indexes were falling.

“Russian equities are set for a weaker open this morning as investors digest the latest sanctions, coupled with static commodity prices, and a lack of domestic catalysts,” said Alfa Bank equity strategist John Walsh.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 2.7% to 1,010.9 points, a two-month low. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.4% lower at 2,124.7 points.

For Russian equities guide see

For Russian treasury bonds see (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Bradley Perrett and Ed Osmond)


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