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Russian currency soars to strongest since end of March against US dollar

05.05.23 14:34

The Russian ruble soared on Friday, at one point gaining more than 2 percent on the day as it climbed to its highest against the dollar in more than a month, ahead of a long weekend in Russia and as oil prices staged a partial recovery.

By 0909 GMT, the ruble was 1.8 percent stronger against the dollar at 76.68, earlier touching 76.2550, its strongest point since March 24.

It had gained 1.8 percent to trade at 84.65 versus the euro. It had firmed 1.7 percent against the yuan to 11.09

The ruble has been strengthening for six sessions. It may weaken ahead of the long weekend should demand for dollars rise towards the evening, said Alor Broker’s Alexei Antonov. Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 1.6 percent at $73.66 a barrel, but looks set to close the week down about 8 percent after dramatic drops on fears of a weakening US economy and slowing Chinese demand.

The rouble strengthened sharply after the central bank held interest rates steady on Friday, but retained the prospect of future hikes. The Russian currency has also benefited from a lag from high oil prices throughout April, which translates to higher export revenues for Russian exporters.

The finance ministry said it would reduce its daily sales of China’s yuan in the coming month, which may have given the rouble additional support, said Bank St Petersburg analysts.

Russian stock indexes were higher.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 2.7 percent to 1,045.8 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.8 percent higher at 2,545.1 points, up from a more than three-week low hit on Thursday, Al Arabiya reports.
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