Ruble Advances Against Basket After U.S. Data Spur Oil Gain

The ruble climbed against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket, extending its fifth consecutive weekly gain after better-than-expected jobs data spurred prices for oil, Russia’s chief export earner.

The ruble gained 0.2 percent to 34.3975 against the basket at the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, extending its weekly rise to 0.5 percent. The Russian currency was little changed at 30.19 per dollar and rose 0.4 percent to 39.54 per euro.

Crude futures jumped 0.8 percent to $97.14 per barrel in New York after the U.S. Labor Department said the unemployment rate dropped to the lowest level since February 2009 last month, a sign commodity demand may rise. Russia is the world’s largest energy exporter.

Bank Rossii left its main rates unchanged today even as inflation plunged to the lowest level in two decades. Consumer price inflation fell to 4.1 percent in Russia in January, the regulator said in a statement.

Russia’s dollar bonds due 2020 were little changed, leaving the yield steady at 4.307 percent. Ruble bonds due 2021 yielded 12 basis points less than yesterday, at 7.87 percent.

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