Russian ruble stabilizes near 60.5 against dollar as Moscow trade begins

A model of Russia’s new 100-ruble banknote is displayed during a presentation in Moscow, Russia June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

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  • This content was produced in Russia where the law limits coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The Russian ruble stabilized near its lowest in more than a week against the dollar at the start of trade in Moscow after the peak of a favorable tax payment period and then that Russian stocks hit a two-month high.

At 07:32 GMT, the Russian currency was 0.1% weaker against the dollar at 60.55. After a sharp move at the market open, the ruble gained 1.1% to trade at 59.99 against the euro.

“There are no significant factors to support the rouble,” Promsvyazbank analysts said, expecting the currency to slowly weaken to the 61 mark against the greenback.

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Month-end tax payments, which typically see Russian exporters convert their foreign currency earnings into rubles to pay to the treasury, ended last week.

“We note that Nord Stream is due to undergo repair work this week, which could also generally weaken the national currency,” Promsvyazbank added.

Russia has reduced flows through Nord Stream 1 to just 20% of capacity and plans to shut it down completely for three days next week, citing maintenance issues with the turbines. The EU accuses him of using the gas as a weapon to fight Western sanctions against Ukraine. Read more

The ruble has been the world’s best-performing currency this year, buoyed by emergency capital controls put in place by the central bank in a bid to stop a sell-off.

Its volatility eased after wild swings that saw it hit a record high of 121.53 to the dollar in Moscow trading in March, shortly after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine . It then rallied to its seven-year high of 50.01 in June.

Ruble volatility may soon increase again. The Moscow Stock Exchange (MOEX.MM) will stop accepting dollars as collateral to underwrite trades starting today and intends to restart trading early in the morning in September. The central bank also eased foreign exchange restrictions for banks. Read more

Russian stock indices were climbing.

Russia’s rouble-based MOEX index (.IMOEX) rose 0.5% to 2,279.3 points, its highest level since June 30. The dollar-denominated RTS index (.IRTS) rose 0.3% to 1,186.5 points.

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Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Christina Fincher

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