Ruble Stabilizes after Following Oil Prices up

The Russian currency gained in early trade on Tuesday, heading away from the lowest levels since 2016 it reached earlier this month, Reuters reported

The ruble followed oil prices, which inched higher, while other emerging-market currencies also pared losses. The Russian currency was 1.2% stronger against the dollar by 0751 GMT at 73.73, up from last week’s 75.49, its weakest since late February 2016.

Versus the euro, the ruble gained 1.7% to 81.96, up from the 85.00 it touched a week ago, also its weakest in four years.

The ruble has lost around 15% of its value against the dollar so far this year, taking a double hit from a slump in oil prices and a global sell-off related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Russian authorities pledged to ensure financial stability despite external shocks, but the Bank of Russia is not expected to follow other global central banks and slash interest rates.

Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina will hold an unscheduled online press conference after the meeting to explain the rate move and the position regarding the impact of the coronavirus on monetary policy, the bank said on Tuesday.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 3.4% at $31.07 a barrel after a massive drop on the previous day.

Higher oil prices propped up Russian stock indexes.

The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 1.1% to 978,3 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.8% higher at 2,284.3 points.

“Russian stocks are expected to edge higher today in a relief rally after yesterday’s rout in the U.S.,” Alfa Bank said in a note to clients.

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