July 19 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble appreciated the most against the dollar in almost a week as speculation European lawmakers will reach an agreement on the region’s debt crisis boosted oil prices.
The currency was 0.8 percent stronger at 28.03 per dollar at the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, the biggest jump since July 13. The ruble was 0.4 percent weaker at 39.765 per euro, leaving it little changed at 33.3107 versus the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.
Oil, Russia’s chief export earner, rose after European Central Bank council member Ewald Nowotny suggested that the bank may compromise and allow a temporary Greek default. Crude for August delivery gained as much as $2.52 a barrel and last traded at $97.92 a barrel.
“There has been a bit of a rebound coming from yesterday, European, Middle Eastern and African currencies as a whole have been strengthening against the dollar,” Thu Lan Nguyen, a currency strategist at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said in response to e-mailed questions. “This could, however, just be the calm before the storm. Right now the main concern is the debt problems in the Eurozone.”
Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said an agreement is “attainable” at a European summit in two days. The two-year notes of Greece and Portugal, both of which have received bailouts, yield 35.3 percent and 17.8 percent respectively, compared with the 5.3 percent yield on similar- maturity Russian debt.
Russian government bonds rose, pushing the yield on the ruble Eurobond due in 2018 down two basis points to 6.848 percent. Non-deliverable forwards, which provide a guide to expectations of currency movements and allow companies to hedge against them, show the ruble at 28.3025 per dollar in three months, compared with 28.4699 yesterday.
--Editors: Alex Nicholson, Linda Shen
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