Russian rouble holds firm, boosted by central bank currency interventions

Jan 19 (Reuters)The Russian rouble opened slightly firmer on Friday with massive central bank currency intervention continuing to buoy the currency.

At 0715 GMT, the rouble was 0.4% stronger against the dollar at 88.67 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had gained 0.13% against the euro to 96.49 EURRUBTN=MCX. It had firmed 0.02% against the yuan to 12.26 CNYRUBTOM=MCX.

Head of investment consulting at Russia’s Alor Broker, Alexei Antonov, said in a note that he saw “no reasons for the devaluation of Russia’s currency in the near future”, with the rouble still boosted by central bank currency sales and low seasonal demand from importers for foreign currency.

State FX sales, carried out by the central bank, are set to amount to the equivalent of 16.7 billion roubles ($190.7 million) of foreign currency a day until the end of January, after the finance ministry switched to making sales from purchases after December oil-and-gas revenue was lower than expected.

That, along with existing capital controls obliging exporters to convert foreign currency revenues, is supporting the rouble.

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.11% at $79.20 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were down.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 0.2% to 1,122 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.32% lower at 3,168 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Editing by Neil Fullick)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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