The ruble appreciated the most against the dollar in eight months as investors bet Europe’s debt crisis will be contained, lifting prices for oil, Russia’s chief export earner.
The Russian currency strengthened 2.1 percent to 32.43 per dollar by the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, the biggest gain since Oct. 27. The ruble has weakened 0.9 percent this year and 9.2 percent since March, the sharpest quarterly drop since September.
Brent crude rallied 4.5 percent to $95.44 per barrel after euro-area leaders announced measures aimed at stemming the region’s debt crisis. The leaders dropped the requirement that governments get prefered creditor status on crisis loans to Spain’s banks and opened the door to recapitalizing lenders directly with bailout funds once Europe sets up a single banking supervisor.
The news from Europe was “not a game-changer of course, but it is certainly more than the market was expecting,” Vladimir Kolychev, chief economist at Societe Generale SA’s OAO Rosbank unit in Moscow, said by e-mail. It “should boost sentiment towards risky assets, and the ruble as well,” he wrote.
Societe Generale expects the ruble to lose 1.4 percent by the end of 2012 to 32.90 per dollar, according to an e-mailed research note today.