Ruble Gains Most Against Dollar in Three Weeks as Oil Climbs

The ruble appreciated against the dollar for a second day, strengthening the most this month, after the price of crude oil, Russia’s chief export, advanced for a third day.

The Russian currency rose 0.6 percent to 31.7525 by 11:45 a.m. in Moscow, heading for its biggest daily gain since Nov. 30. The ruble edged up 0.6 percent to 41.6375 versus the euro, leaving it 0.6 percent stronger at 36.1984 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.

Oil futures increased for a third day in New York, advancing as much as 1.2 percent to $98.44 a barrel, after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude inventories dropped to the lowest in almost two years. Brent oil for February settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange rose as much as 84 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $107.57 a barrel.

Investors pared bets the Russian currency will weaken further, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 32.1984 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.4518 per dollar yesterday. The contracts are a guide to expectations of currency movements as they allow foreign investors and companies to fix the exchange rate at a particular level in the future.

Russia’s dollar-denominated Eurobond due in 2020 fell, pushing the yield eight basis points higher to 4.783 percent.

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