(Adds details, updates prices)
MOSCOW, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The Russian rouble recovered against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, after touching a six-month low, on optimism for an easing of the U.S.-China trade standoff and an expected boost in demand for the currency to meet domestic tax payments.
The rouble was 0.4% stronger at 66.60 to the dollar at 1423 GMT, having weakened to 67.11 in early trading, its lowest since Feb. 14. It gained 0.3% against the euro to trade at 73.89.
After a recent sell-off, the rouble is no longer one of the top three best-performing currencies. The Egyptian pound, the Thai baht and the Ukrainian hryvnia have strengthened more so far this year.
“In the near future, we can expect the return of investors’ interest in the rouble, which retains the potential for strengthening,” said Andrey Kochetkov, an analyst at Otkritie Broker.
The rouble was set to receive support from monthly tax payments when export-focused companies convert foreign currency revenue to meet local liabilities.
Tax payments are seen withdrawing around 1.7 trillion roubles ($25.50 billion) in August, according to analysts at Bank Saint-Petersburg.
The price of oil, Russia’s main export, edged lower on Tuesday amid concerns over demand, but optimism for an easing in U.S.-China trade tensions and hope that major economies will take stimulus measures to ward off a potential economic slowdown capped losses.
Brent crude oil was down 0.5% trading at $59.38 a barrel.
The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 1% to 1,259 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.7% higher at 2,666 points.
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($1 = 66.6760 roubles) (Reporting by Anna Rzhevkina; Additional reporting by Vladimir Abramov; Editing by Mike Harrison)