Ruble Weakens Second Day to Basket on Crude as Tax Support Ends

The ruble weakened for a second day against the central bank’s target basket after oil fell and demand for the local currency to pay taxes declined.

The ruble dropped 0.3 percent against the dollar-euro basket to 34.9638 by 1:22 p.m. in Moscow, the lowest since Dec. 26. The currency weakened 0.3 percent to 30.7925 against the dollar. The yield on benchmark government ruble bonds due Feb. 2027 declined 1 basis point to 7.21 percent.

Crude oil futures fell 0.3 percent to $90.41 a barrel in New York, retreating for a third day after a report showed service industries in China, the second-biggest oil user, expanded at the slowest pace in five months in February.

“Increased stress on global markets set the pattern for ruble trading last week,” ING Groep NV (INGA) analyst Dmitry Polevoy wrote in a note to clients. “The situation will continue into this week.”

The ruble has a good chance of outperforming the currencies of other emerging countries by the end of the first quarter due to a seasonally strong current account and the fact that the March tax period will be heavier than in January and February, VTB Capital analysts Maxim Korovin and Anton Nikitin wrote in a note to clients.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at

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