Rouble steadies near 16-month peak vs dollar

The rouble firmed past 70 versus the greenback on Friday for the first time since mid-2020

  

The Russian rouble hovered near its strongest level since June 2020 on Tuesday, buttressed by globally high oil and gas prices, but lacked momentum to continue advancing after gaining nearly 7% so far this year.

At 0735 GMT, the rouble was flat at 69.70 against the dollar  after hitting 69.5750, its strongest level in 16 months. Versus the euro, the rouble was little changed at 80.88 , a level last seen on July 21, 2020.

The rouble firmed past 70 versus the greenback on Friday for the first time since mid-2020 after the central bank surprised markets by raising its key interest rate in a larger-than-expected step of 75 basis points to 7.5%.

Higher rates are positive for the rouble as they increase investment appeal of Russian assets. The rouble is also supported by month-end tax payments that prompt export-focused companies to convert some of their revenues to meet local liabilities.

Brent crude oil LCOc1 , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.2% at $85.83 a barrel, hovering near a seven-year high.

"Russia's life blood is being buoyed amid tight global supply and prospects of increasing demand as economies re-open," BCS Global Markets said in a note.

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was flat at 1,920.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX shed 0.2% to 4,247.3 points, trading neat its all-time high of 4,292.68 touched on Oct. 14.

Moscow-listed depositary receipts in Russia's largest food retailer X5 with listing in London PJPq.L outperformed the market and rose 0.4% on the day after the company posted a 12% increase in third-quarter revenue and said its dividend policy remained on track.

(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; editing by Uttaresh.V)


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