Ruble Weakens to Lowest Since September After U.S. Jobs Data

The ruble weakened to the lowest level in almost two months as better-than-forecast U.S. data spurred speculation the Federal Reserve will pare stimulus as early as this year.

The Russian currency depreciated to the lowest level against the central bank’s basket of currencies since Sept. 10, and the yield on the government’s February 2027 bond rose to the highest since that day. Emerging-market stocks tumbled after American employers added 204,000 workers in October. The addition followed a revised 163,000 gain in September that was larger than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington.

The ruble dropped 0.6 percent to 37.6693 against Bank Rossii’s target dollar-euro basket by 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the central bank stops opens market operations. The yield on the 2027 OFZ increased 12 basis points, or 0.12 percentage point, to 7.75 percent by the close.

“We saw knee-jerk reaction selling,” Dmitry Dorofeev, a strategist at BCS Financial Group in Moscow, said by e-mail. “Excellent labor market data favor earlier tapering of quantitative easing, maybe as soon as in December.”

Bank Rossii earlier today held its main lending rates unchanged for a 14th consecutive month as inflation at 6.3 percent in October exceeded the regulator’s 5 percent to 6 percent target. The decision matched the forecasts of all 24 economists in a Bloomberg survey.

The ruble weakened 0.8 percent against the dollar to 32.6855 and traded down 0.5 percent against the euro at 43.7605. Oil, Russia’s chief export earner, advanced 0.3 percent to $103.73 a barrel in London, snapping three days of declines.

“This late sell-off proves once again that neither macro data from Russia nor Bank Rossii’s rate announcements impact the ruble as much as global winds do,” Vladimir Miklashevsky, strategist at Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE) in Helsinki, said in e-mailed comments.

To contact the reporter on this story: Vladimir Kuznetsov in Moscow at vkuznetsov2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Wojciech Moskwa at wmoskwa@bloomberg.net

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