Bloomberg News

Ruble Weakens for Third Day Against Dollar as Oil Price Declines

January 07, 2012

Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble depreciated for a third day against the dollar, poised for the weakest close in almost a week after Urals crude, Russia’s chief export blend, fell yesterday.

The Russian currency dropped 0.3 percent to 32.12 as of 11:21 a.m. in Moscow, after declining 0.8 percent yesterday. The ruble slipped 0.2 percent to 41.0225 per euro, leaving it 0.3 percent down at 36.1261 against the central bank’s target dollar basket, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Urals lost 1 percent yesterday to $110.36 on concern that Europe’s debt crisis is worsening may point to faltering demand for fuel. Reports today may show European retail sales and German factory orders fell in November, according to separate surveys. The European Union is Russia’s largest trading partner.

The 30-stock Micex index gained 0.2 percent to 1,438.18 after losing 0.9 percent yesterday. The dollar-denominated RTS index dropped 0.2 percent to 1,413.29.

Mobile carrier OAO Mobile TeleSystems led rising stocks in Micex, climbing 2.9 percent to 194.55 rubles.

“The Russian mobiles have among the strongest earnings outlooks for this year,” said Zoltan Palfi, a London-based analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG, who has an “outperform” rating on MTS.

The Russian markets are open even as the country celebrates its New Year holiday until Jan. 10. A total 21.9 billion shares were traded on the Micex yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, compared with a daily average of 46.7 billion last month.

The Micex trades at 5.4 times analysts’ earnings estimates for member companies, the lowest among the so-called BRIC nations which include Brazil, India and China. The index lost 15 percent in 2011, compared with an 18 percent slide for Brazil’s Bovespa index, which trades at 9.2 times estimated earnings according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Shanghai Composite Index trades at 8.7 times estimated earnings, and the BSE India Sensitive Index has a ratio of 13.8.

--With assistance from Leon Lazaroff and Halia Pavliva in New York. Editors: Ash Kumar, Stephen Kirkland

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Jordan in Moscow at jjordan22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net


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