MOSCOW: The rouble firmed on Monday, helped by higher oil prices and demand from Russian exporters converting their foreign currency revenues to meet monthly tax payments.
At 0745 GMT, the rouble was 0.3 percent stronger against the dollar at 65.30 and had gained 0.1 percent to trade at 75.35 versus the euro.
Oil prices rose as the market awaits the U. S. sanctions against Iran’s oil sector that are set to start on Nov. 4.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.50 percent at $80.81 a barrel.
The rouble also obtained support from export-focused firms buying the currency in order to pay local taxes for October, for the which payments have to be made by the end of the month.
The market will also be paying attention to a Russian central bank meeting on Friday when, according to Vladimir Miklashevsky, senior economist at Danske Bank, it is expected to keep the key rate on hold.
“While we expect Russia’s key rate to remain unchanged at 7.50 percent next Friday, there is a risk that the central bank could refer to surging inflation expectations and deliver a 25 basis point hike,” he said.
Russian stock indexes were up.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.86 percent to 1,136.70 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.48 percent higher at 2,356.19 points.
Shares of Russian internet group Yandex, were 2.75 percent higher, recovering after the Friday fall and reports that Sberbank, Russia’s top bank, is seeking to buy a stake in the company.
Sberbank has denied any such plans.
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