Rouble recovers after slump to seven-week low past 101 vs dollar

  • Reuters
  • Forex News
Rouble recovers after slump to seven-week low past 101 vs dollar
Credit: © Reuters.

By Alexander Marrow

(Reuters) -The Russian rouble recovered ground on Friday, after weakening to a more than seven-week low past 101 against the dollar, under pressure from lower oil prices and the reduced supply of foreign currency from exporters at the start of the month.

By 0927 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 100.13, having earlier touched 101.50, its weakest since Aug. 14.

It had gained 0.2% to trade at 105.60 versus the euro and firmed 0.3% against the yuan to 13.69.

The rouble's last tumble into triple digits in August led the Bank of Russia to make an emergency 350 basis-point rate hike to 12% and authorities to discuss reintroducing controls to buttress the currency, but interventions - verbal or otherwise - have been more limited this time around.

The Kremlin said there was no cause for concern. President Vladimir Putin on Thursday acknowledged the rouble's weakening as a problem, but also extolled the economy's resilience against Western sanctions imposed over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Accelerating inflation hit 5.94% on Oct. 2, the economy ministry said this week, while the central bank is widely expected to hike rates from 13% currently at its next meeting later this month.

SHORT-LIVED DROP?

Delayed action by the authorities and Russia's trade imbalance - exports have contracted this year, while imports have recovered sharply - are causing the rouble's weakness, said Promsvyazbank analysts in a note.

"We expect that the dollar exchange rate's entry into the three-digit zone will be short-lived, as it will prompt the authorities to take measures capable of cooling the FX market."

Reimposing a requirement that exporters sell a portion of their FX revenues could strengthen the rouble, but may hinder Russian businesses' investment plans, said Gazprombank Investments in a note.

Brent crude oil , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.1% at $84.02 a barrel, near its lowest since late August.

Russia's government on Friday said it had lifted a ban on pipeline diesel exports via ports, removing the bulk of restrictions installed on Sept. 21.

Those restrictions on fuel exports from Russia, the world's top seaborne exporter of the fuel just ahead of the U.S., have bolstered global prices and forced some buyers to scramble for alternative sources of gasoline and diesel.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A vendor counts Russian rouble banknotes at a market in Saint Petersburg, Russia July 9, 2023.  REUTERS/Anton Vaganov/File Photo

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.1% to 983.1 points, having earlier touched a three-month low. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.2% lower at 3,124.6 points.

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