Ruble Extends Slide as Tightening Wagers Fade Amid Economic Woes

The ruble headed for a new record low as signs of foundering economic growth curbed bets Russia’s central bank will follow steps by other emerging-market regulators to stem currency depreciation.

The ruble lost 0.4 percent to 41.2311 against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros by 1:46 p.m. in Moscow. The yield on government bonds due February 2027 rose seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 8.30 percent.

Policy makers from India to Turkey to South Africa have lifted borrowing costs to slow currency declines. Russia’s industrial production contracted in January, missing the 1 percent increase forecast in a Bloomberg survey, data showed yesterday. That reduces the chances of a central bank rate increase in response to the weaker currency, HSBC Holdings Plc analysts Alexander Morozov and Artem Biryukov said in an e-mailed note Feb. 17.

“The ruble is now one of the most disliked currencies,” Denis Korshilov, head of fixed income, currencies and commodities, at ZAO Citibank in Moscow, said in e-mailed comments. “The macro is bad, rates won’t be hiked, while liquidity for speculators is good.”

The ruble weakened 0.3 percent against the dollar to 35.3255 and lost 0.4 percent to 48.4640 per euro. The ruble has slid 6.9 percent since the beginning of the year against the dollar, the second-worst performance among 24 emerging-markets currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

“Everybody sees that the ruble stopped correlating with other emerging-markets currencies,” Korshilov said. “Market players decided the ruble will trend downward irrespective of other peers.”

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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