Russian rouble firms towards 5-month high vs dollar
(Updates prices, adds detail)
MOSCOW, March 15 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble rallied on
Friday to its strongest level since October 2018, helped by
month-end tax payments, which usually prompt export-focused
companies to convert their foreign currency to meet local
Taxes could amount to as much as 2.9 trillion roubles ($44.3
billion) this month, nearly double February's level, a Reuters
survey of eight analysts indicated.
At 1507 GMT, the rouble was 0.5 percent stronger against the
dollar at 65.22 after briefly touching 65.14, a
level last seen on Oct. 24.
Against the euro, the rouble rose 0.2 percent to 73.89 in
light pre-weekend trade.
The rouble is likely to strengthen towards a range of
64.50-65.00 against the dollar in the near term, said Dmitry
Polevoy, chief economist at Russian Direct Investment Fund.
"Despite a lower correlation between the FX rate and oil in
the past months, the rouble still receives substantial support
from the oil market in conditions of a geopolitical lull,"
Rosbank analysts said in a note.
Some market players were selling currency ahead of tax
payments, while some were closing long foreign currency
positions they had before, said a dealer at a major Russian
bank, adding there was a chance the rouble could soon firm to 65
to the dollar.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's
main export, played a positive role for Russian assets but moved
away from a 2019 high of $68.14 touched the day before. Brent
futures were 0.7 percent lower at $66.78 a barrel.
Russian stock indexes edged higher.
The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 0.9 percent to
1,192.8 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index
gained 0.5 percent to 2,469.3 points.
For Russian equities guide see
For Russian treasury bonds see
($1 = 65.4098 roubles)
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Vladimir Abramov; Editing by
First Published: 2019-03-15 09:57:16
Updated 2019-03-15 17:21:11
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