The ruble appreciated to the strongest in a month as oil, Russia’s chief export earner, rose on speculation central banks from Europe to China may ease monetary policy to bolster economic growth.
The Russian currency strengthened 1.4 percent to 32.1500 per dollar, the highest level since May 28, after weakening 9.2 percent in the second quarter.
Crude oil climbed 0.8 percent to $84.40 a barrel in New York, extending its 7.8 percent jump in the past two sessions. Oil and gas contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue. The European Central Bank is forecast to cut interest rates this week to stimulate demand. A state-owned newspaper in China said the time is ripe for a reduction in banks’ reserve- requirement ratios, which means monetary easing. A deterioration in U.S. employment data this week may prompt the Federal Reserve to initiate fresh stimulus, BNP Paribas SA said.
Citigroup Inc. sees the ruble trading in the range of 37 rubles to 38 rubles against the basket in the second quarter, analysts led by David Lubin said in an e-mailed research note today. “We assume oil prices at about $100 a barrel and global risk aversion remaining slightly above the normal level in the second quarter,” the analysts said in the note. “Basket appreciation below 35 rubles is very unlikely even if the oil price recovers to $110 in the third quarter.”
The Russian currency appreciated 1.1 percent to 40.5400 per euro and 1.2 percent to 35.9255 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors lowered bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 32.6590 per dollar in three months, compared with investor expectations of 33.1198 per dollar yesterday.
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