Ruble Weakens 2nd Day Versus Dollar on U.S., Europe Debt Crises

The ruble weakened for a second day versus the dollar as debt concerns in the U.S. and Europe hurt demand for riskier assets.

Russia’s currency depreciated 0.3 percent to 27.6024 per dollar at the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, the biggest drop since July 18. The ruble was 0.3 percent stronger at 39.4975 per euro, leaving it steady at 32.9552 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.

Emerging-market currencies declined as concern mounted that U.S. lawmakers will fail to agree on the federal government’s debt ceiling by next week’s deadline. Standard & Poor’s cut Greece’s credit rating, saying it will partially default once a European-Union bailout is implemented.

Oil traded below $98 a barrel for a second day after a U.S. Energy Department report showed the country’s crude stockpiles climbed 2.3 million barrels last week, while a Bloomberg News survey forecast a drop of 2 million barrels. Crude for September delivery slid as much as 0.9 percent to $96.51 a barrel.

“With oil prices moderating, the Russian bourses will struggle to make much headway,” Johannesburg-based Tradition Analytics wrote in an e-mailed note to clients.

Russian government bonds rose, pushing the yield on the ruble Eurobond due in 2018 down one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 6.847 percent. Non-deliverable forwards, which provide a guide to expectations of currency movements and allow companies to hedge against them, show the ruble at 27.8625 per dollar in three months, compared with 27.816 yesterday.

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