The ruble gained the most in two weeks as monthly tax payments bolstered demand for the Russian currency from exporters in the world’s biggest energy supplier.
The ruble climbed 0.4 percent to 37.7668 against the central bank’s euro-dollar basket by 12:16 p.m. in Moscow, the strongest advance on a closing basis since Aug. 2. The yield on the government’s ruble bond due 2027 fell four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 7.69 percent.
Companies must pay about 80 billion ($2.4 billion) to 100 billion rubles in taxes today, with 530 billion rubles due in total in August, OAO Promsvyazbank analyst Alexei Egorov said in an e-mailed note on August 14. Brent crude gained for a fifth consecutive day in London, rising 0.5 percent to $110.74 a barrel. Oil is Russia’s main export earner.
“There’s good demand for the ruble on large tax payments,” Vladimir Miklashevsky, a trading desk strategist at Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE) in Helsinki, said in e-mailed comments. Demand will continue to be “strong” next week as companies make value-added tax payments, he said.
The ruble strengthened 0.6 percent against the dollar to 32.8850 and advanced 0.3 percent against the euro to 43.7220.
Oil above $110 per barrel and the ruble 0.3 percent weaker against the dollar this month are a “fantastic gift” for exporters, Dmitry Polevoy, an economist at ING Groep NV in Moscow, said in an e-mailed note.
The central bank raised the ruble’s trading corridor by another 5 kopeks to 32 to 39 rubles against the basket from Aug. 14, according to a statement today. Bank Rossii shifts the band every time the accumulated amount of its non-targeted interventions reaches $450 million.
The regulator, which reports interventions with a lag, sold the equivalent of 10.79 billion rubles of foreign currency on Aug. 13 compared with 6.59 billion rubles the previous day, it said on its website.
The Russian currency has declined about 8 percent against the dollar-euro basket since the beginning of 2013. That compares with a 6 percent drop for JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s index of emerging-market currencies and a 4.2 percent increase for Brent oil.
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