Ruble Weakens as Crude Oil Declines on U.S. Jobless Claims Data
The ruble weakened as oil, Russia’s chief export earner, declined and a report showed more Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits, curbing appetite for riskier assets.
The ruble depreciated 0.1 percent against the dollar to 30.7700 by the 7 p.m. close in Moscow. The Russian currency rose 0.2 percent versus the euro to 40.3050. It was little changed against the central bank’s euro-dollar target basket at 35.0608.
Crude in New York tumbled as much as 1.6 percent to $90.66 a barrel. The U.S. Labor Department reported jobless claims increased to 388,000 in the week ended Oct. 13, more than the 365,000 forecast by economists polled by Bloomberg. Russia is the world’s biggest energy exporter. Oil and gas contribute about 50 percent of government revenue.
“Lower oil is one of the reasons” for the ruble’s slide, Andrey Volkov, head of foreign exchange and money markets at ZAO Natixis Bank in Moscow, said by e-mail. “U.S. jobless claims came slightly higher than expected.”
Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 31.2425 per dollar in three months compared with 31.2575 yesterday.
The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries slipped one basis point to 168, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index. An index of five-year government bond yields rose 11 basis points to 7.0829 percent.
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