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Russian Rouble Firms Away from Near One-Month Low

The Russian rouble firmed on Monday, recouping some losses sustained on Friday when geopolitical risks related to the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny sent the currency spiralling to a near one-month low.

At 0713 GMT, the rouble was 0.8% stronger against the dollar at 74.71, pulling clear of its lowest mark since Dec. 24 of 75.3625, after losing around 2% in the previous session.

It had gained 0.7% to trade at 90.98 versus the euro , moving away from 91.6875, its lowest since Jan. 5.

Sanctions risk remained in focus after police detained more than 3,000 people and used force to break up rallies across Russia on Saturday as tens of thousands of protesters ignored extreme cold and police warnings to demand Navalny’s release.

It was a nervy end to a nervous week, said BCS Global Markets. The Kremlin on Sunday indicated a willingness to talk with President Joe Biden and his new U.S. administration, but, with relations between the two countries languishing at Cold War lows, also accused Washington of meddling in Saturday’s protests.

“Biden’s policy towards Russia remains unclear and, given recent news-flow, investors may be leery of Russian assets going into this week,” BCS added.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.4% at $55.63 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were rebounding.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.7% to 1,441.7 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 1.1% higher at 3,420.1 points.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Source: Reuters

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