Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble weakened for the first time in six trading days, falling from its strongest level against the dollar in more than three weeks.
The Russian currency depreciated 0.8 percent to 31.38 by the end of trading at 7 p.m. in Moscow, its first decline against the U.S. currency since Dec. 19, after closing at its strongest level since Dec. 5 yesterday. The ruble retreated 0.8 percent to 40.9825 versus the euro. That put it at 35.7011 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.
Oil futures were little changed after a report showed American home prices dropped more than estimated after closing at $99.68 a barrel on Dec. 23, their highest level since Dec. 13.
Investors increased bets the Russian currency will weaken further, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 31.6714 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 31.5815 per dollar yesterday. The contracts are a guide to expectations of currency movements as they allow investors and companies to fix the exchange rate at a particular level in the future.
Russia’s dollar-denominated Eurobond due in 2020 fell, pushing the yield two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, higher to 4.616 percent.
--Editors: Ash Kumar, Gavin Serkin
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To contact the reporter on this story: Denis Maternovsky in Moscow at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at email@example.com -0- Dec/27/2011 15:09 GMT