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Ruble Drops 2nd Day to Dollar, Bond Yields Rise on Crude Decline

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

The Russian currency weakened 0.4 percent to 33.13 per dollar by the close in Moscow. The country’s 28 billion rubles ($845 million) of local OFZ bonds due 2027 declined, raising the yield by one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 8.9 percent.

Brent crude slipped 1.7 percent to $91.86 per barrel before a European-Union summit in Brussels to discuss the region’s debt crisis. Oil and gas together contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue, according to government estimates.

“Oil is off, and that’s the main driver in the short term for the ruble,” Hans Gustafson, an emerging-markets strategist at Swedbank AB in Stockholm, said by e-mail.

The ruble lost 0.2 percent to 41.18 per euro and was little changed at 36.7525 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors increased bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 33.6659 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 33.533 per dollar yesterday.

The ruble may weaken 2 percent to 33.80 per dollar next week after the end of the monthly tax period, according to Vadim Kuchinskiy, a London-based currency trader at Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. Exporters convert revenue from abroad in the second half of every month to pay the government, boosting the Russian currency.

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