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Russian rouble eases towards mid-January lows vs dollar

Published February 08,2024

The Russian rouble edged lower against the dollar on Thursday, hovering not far from mid-January lows, sensitive to changes in foreign currency demand and supply, as well as ongoing state FX interventions.

At 0741 GMT, the rouble was 0.1% weaker against the dollar at 91.32 and had lost 0.5% to trade at 98.48 versus the euro. It was unchanged against the yuan at 12.65.

The finance ministry on Monday said it would switch back to making FX purchases from sales in the month ahead, slightly reducing the overall daily sales the state makes and reducing some support for the rouble.

The possible extension of capital controls requiring exporters to convert foreign currency revenue beyond April 30 could support the rouble. The central bank swiftly opposed the government's proposal for an extension last month, but the measure was supported by other key decision makers.

"In the absence of increased supply of foreign currency from exporters, which remains a key factor in supporting the rouble, it is likely that the rouble will end today's trading in the 91-92 against the dollar," said Yevgeny Loktyukhov of Promsvyazbank.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.4% at $79.54 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were lower.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.5% to 1,119.5 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.4% lower at 3,245.2 points.