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Ruble Weakens Against Dollar, Bond Yields Rise on Urals Decline

The ruble depreciated against the dollar and yields on Russia’s local debt rose as oil, the country’s main export, declined.

The Russian currency lost 0.2 percent to 33 per dollar by the close in Moscow after earlier appreciating as much as 0.4 percent. The country’s 28 billion rubles ($850 million) of domestic debt due 2027 fell, increasing the yield by two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 8.91 percent.

Urals crude dropped 0.8 percent to $89.88 per barrel after a report said U.S. inventories climbed by 507,000 barrels last week, a sign demand may fall. Oil and gas contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue, according to the government’s estimates. The ruble was earlier supported by companies converting revenue from abroad to make monthly tax payments, according to Craig Lynch, a Madrid-based currency trader at Banco Santander SA.

“Over the next few days we should remain capped below 33.15 to 33.20, assuming there are not significant external shocks,” he said by e-mail.

The Russian currency was little changed at 41.09 per euro and slid 0.2 percent to 36.6405 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors increased bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 33.4889 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 33.4217 per dollar yesterday.

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