Economic news

Rouble Firms Past 74 vs Dollar, Stocks Climb

MOSCOW, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed past 74 against the dollar on Wednesday after hitting a more than one-week high, as the unit pared recent losses driven by increased geopolitical concerns, a drop in oil prices and fears over the Omicron coronavirus variant.

At 1102 GMT, the rouble gained 0.2% to 73.90 against the dollar , having earlier reached its strongest level since Nov. 22 of 73.7175.

Against the euro, the rouble was 0.2% stronger at 83.73 .

The rouble could have received support from Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina who indicated on Tuesday that the bank will consider a sharp rate increase of up to 100 basis points at its Dec. 17 board meeting.

Andrei Kostin, chief executive officer of Russia's second-largest lender VTB, said on Wednesday he expected the Bank of Russia to raise its key rate to 8.5% following Nabiullina's comments, whose conviction Kostin compared to that of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hopes that President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart will talk before the year-end "undoubtedly have a positive impact on lowering of the geopolitical tensions," Yaroslav Kavakov, head of strategy at FINAM brokerage, said in a note.

The rouble has slipped from a multi-month peak of 69.21 versus the greenback hit in late October as it has come under selling pressure on concerns about possible Russian military intervention in Ukraine, something that Moscow has dismissed.

Brent crude oil , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 4.6% at $72.41 a barrel, recouping steep losses from the previous session, as major producers prepared to discuss how to respond to the threat from the Omicron variant.

Russian stock indexes were up.

The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 2.4% to 1,683.4 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.5% higher at 3,948.8 points.

A Reuters poll showed the market expects Russian stock indexes to recover in 2022 from the November sell-off driven by fears of more sanctions and COVID-19 concerns, but a stimulus withdrawal in the United States could cap gains. 

Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Alexander Marrow; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shailesh Kuber

Source: Reuters

To leave a comment you must or Join us

More news

Back to economic news list

By visiting our website and services, you agree to the conditions of use of cookies. Learn more
I agree