Rouble hits fresh high on Monday

Apr 6th, 2010 | By | Category: Rouble News

The Russian rouble reached a new 15-month high versus the euro-dollar basket on Monday. This was brought on by sturdy oil prices, which reached their highest levels in 18 months.

At 6.40am GMT on Monday the rouble was trading at 33.75, nine kopecks up on Friday’s close, and its highest level since the latter part of 2008. In response, the Russian central bank shifted the currency’s floating trading band for the 25th time in almost two months.

Dealers estimate the new corridor to be at 33.75-36.75, previously at 33.80-36.80. Alexei Zaitsev, a dealer at UniCredit in Moscow, commented: “The rouble’s firming, but rather quietly today.”

Trading volumes for the remainder of Monday are expected to be subdued, commentators pointed out, as most markets in Europe are closed for the Easter break.

Oil prices climbed to their highest level in a year and a half on Monday. As crude oil remains one of Russia’s chief exports, it is expected for oil prices to further strengthen the rouble this week.

The chief of strategy at UralSib, Chris Weafer, stated: “The central bank’s greater priority is inflation control and (it) will be none too keen to pump more roubles into the system to restrain the exchange rate.”

The rouble firmed to 29.19 versus the dollar on Monday, its strongest performance in over two weeks. Against the euro it reached a fresh 15-month peak of 39.32.

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