Ruble Strengthens Against Dollar for Second Day as Oil Advances

The ruble appreciated against the dollar for a second day as oil, Russia’s chief export, rose and amid speculation exporters are buying the Russian currency to make monthly tax payments.

The ruble gained 0.6 percent to 32.7120 per dollar by the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, the strongest level since July 5. Russia’s $3.5 billion of Eurobonds due July 2018 rose, cutting the yield by two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 3.379 percent.

Brent crude rallied as much as 1.7 percent by the close of currency trading in Moscow to $99.68 a barrel after U.S. inventories dropped 4.7 million barrels last week, a sign of rising demand. The ruble is being boosted as companies convert their foreign earnings to pay taxes in the Russian currency, according to Sergey Romanchuk, head of foreign exchange and money markets at OAO AKB Metalinvest Bank in Moscow. Russian companies pay taxes in the second half of every month.

“It looks like a big portion of export sales” is driving the ruble’s gains and the currency may strengthen as much as 2.2 percent to 32 per dollar over the next week, Romanchuk said by e-mail.

The ruble rose 0.6 percent to 40.1150 per euro and 36.0434 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors pared bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 33.2300 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 33.4375 per dollar yesterday.

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