Bloomberg News

Ruble Strengthens as Oil Rises on Iran, Manufacturing

January 04, 2012

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble gained the most in a month against the dollar as oil, Russia’s chief export, rose on speculation sanctions against Iran will disrupt crude supplies and as manufacturing expanded in China and the U.S.

Russia’s currency strengthened 1.4 percent to 31.7150 against the dollar at close in Moscow, the most since Nov. 30 on a closing basis.

Oil climbed above $100 a barrel in New York after Iran’s Deputy Navy Commander Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi told Press TV that any effort to harm the country’s interests will lead to “reciprocal measures.” The Institute for Supply Management’s U.S. factory index rose more than expected, adding to increases in China and India.

Rising oil prices helped the ruble, Benoit Anne, head of emerging-market strategist at Societe Generale SA in London, said by e-mail today.

The ruble appreciated 0.9 percent to 41.3475 against the euro. The moves against the dollar and the euro left Russia’s currency 1.1 percent stronger at 36.0496 against a target currency basket the central bank uses to manage swings in the ruble. The currency and equities traded on the Micex even as many businesses were closed for a public holiday until Jan. 10.

“Ruble movements right now are a bit misleading occurring in a low liquidity environment,” Anne said.

The 30-stock Micex rose 3 percent to 1,444.76, also the biggest increase in a month.

--Editors: Stephen Kirkland, Gavin Serkin

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Bierman in Moscow at sbierman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Torrey Clark at tclark8@bloomberg.net


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