The Russian rouble firmed on Thursday, recouping sharp losses of the previous session when it fell from a 16-month high versus the dollar, while stocks indexes extended their slide.
At 0754 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 70.49 RUBUTSTN=MCX . It had hit its strongest level since June 2020 of 69.21 on Tuesday.
Against the euro, the rouble was 0.1% firmer at 81.85 EURRUBTN=MCX after weakening from its 2021 peak of 80.42 touched earlier this week.
The rouble underperformed its peers as Russia's tax period ended, VTB Capital said. Taxes usually prompt export-focused companies to convert their FX revenues into rouble to meet local liabilities.
The spread of COVID-19 in Russia is in focus as the number of daily cases exceeded 40,000 for the first time and the death toll was at a record high.
The Russian capital brought in its strictest lockdown measures since June 2020 on Thursday as hospitals confronted a rising wave of coronavirus cases.
Brent crude oil LCOc1 , a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.9% at $83.79 a barrel amid a surprise jump in U.S. inventories of crude and as rising cases of COVID-19 in Europe, Russia, and some outbreaks of infections in China dented hopes for an economic recovery. O/R
Russian stock indexes were down.
The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS shed 1% to 1,872.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX index .IMOEX fell 0.9% to 4,189.3 points.
Shares in Sberbank SBER.MM were down 0.6% on the day after Russia's largest lender reported a record net profit of 348.3 billion roubles ($4.9 billion) for the third quarter.
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)