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Ruble Slides to 4-Week Low as Oil Falls, Greece Curbs Risk Bets

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble depreciated to the lowest level in four weeks against the dollar before paring losses by the close as concern Greece’s debt crisis will spread curbed demand for oil and riskier emerging-market assets.

The ruble fell 0.3 percent to 28.1424 per dollar by the 5 p.m. close in Moscow, the lowest level since June 16. Ruble-denominated Eurobonds due in 2018 dropped for a sixth day, their longest streak of losses since they were sold, raising the yield three basis points to 6.916 percent, the highest since May 30.

Crude, Russia’s main export earner, fell as European governments failed to agree on releasing a loan payout to spare Greece from default and Japan’s exports dropped in May more than forecast. Oil lost as much as 2 percent to $91.14 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

“For now, the central bank of Russia is comfortable with the moderate pressure on the ruble as it makes their job of preventing ruble appreciation and controlling inflation easier,” Citigroup Inc.’s Elina Ribakova and Natalia Novikova wrote in an e-mailed research note today.

The ruble was little changed against the euro at 40.1399. The currency’s movements against the dollar and the euro left it 0.2 percent weaker at 33.5413 against the basket used by the central bank to moderate swings that erode the competitiveness of Russian producers. The basket is calculated by multiplying the dollar’s rate to the ruble by 0.55, the euro to ruble rate by 0.45, then adding them together.

Citigroup left its ruble forecast unchanged at 34-35 against the basket this year. Ruble downside will be “limited by central bank interventions and deposit rate hikes,” Ribakova and Novikova said.

Russian government dollar bonds due 2015 were little changed, with the yield at 2.931 percent.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net

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