The ruble depreciated against the dollar for a second day and yields on Russia’s local-currency debt rose as oil, the country’s chief export, dropped in New York and Bank Rossii left rates unchanged.
The Russian currency declined 0.3 percent to 29.6775 per dollar as of 4:48 p.m. Moscow, after losing 0.5 percent last week. Russia’s 114 billion rubles ($3.8 billion) of local OFZ bonds due 2021 fell for a fourth day, increasing the yield six basis points to 7.96 percent.
Bank Rossii kept the refinancing rate at 8 percent, refraining from cutting it and other key rates for a fourth month at today’s meeting, even after the inflation rate fell to the lowest in two decades. The slower price growth is a “short- term” tendency, the central bank said.
The ruble saw its third consecutive week of declines last week after a report showed U.S. employers added the fewest jobs in five months in March and less than forecast, signaling a recovery in the world’s largest economy may be stalling. Crude futures dropped 1.5 percent to $101.77 per barrel in New York after Iran agreed to resume talks on its nuclear program, which may ease pressure on the country’s oil exports.
Most Western European markets are closed for a second day today for Easter holidays.
The ruble was 0.2 percent weaker at 38.79 per euro and lost 0.3 percent to 33.7767 against the central bank’s target dollar- euro basket. Investors increased bets on the currency depreciating, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 30.0275 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 29.843 per dollar yesterday.
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