(Reuters) – MOSCOWConcerns about the impact of oil and gas sanctions on Russia’s export revenue led to the rouble’s strong appreciation in a tumultuous session on Monday. The rouble had suffered its worst weekly decline since the beginning of July.
Following the implementation of an oil embargo and price cap, the rouble has decreased by over 8% in the past week and by over 10% this month. According to the finance ministry, the latest fall was due to recovering imports.
At 07:48 GMT, the rouble has gained 2.8% against the dollar, to 68.31. It strengthened 2.1% against the yuan to 9.71 and rose 4.4% against the euro to 72.4.
In a note, Otkritie Research predicted that there wouldn’t be much trading on Monday, and that the rouble would probably get stronger during the current month-end tax period. During this time, Russian exporters often convert foreign exchange earnings to pay domestic debts, which is why the rouble is likely to get stronger.
The rouble is still one of the best-performing major currencies against the dollar this year, thanks to capital controls and fewer imports. However, the Brazilian real has passed it in the last week.
Brent crude oil, which is a global standard for Russia’s main export, went up 3.7% to $84.0 a barrel in the last trading session before Christmas. This was the highest price in three weeks.
Russian equities increased.
In the final week of the year, investors are likely to rebalance their portfolios, which might influence the market in either direction, according to Sinara Investment Bank.
The dollar-based RTS index increased 2.1% to 983.4 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index increased 0.3% to 2,130.6 points.
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