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Ruble Weakens Against Dollar for First Day in Three as Oil Falls

The ruble depreciated against the dollar for the first day in three as oil, Russia’s main export, declined.

The Russian currency lost 0.2 percent to 32.78 per dollar by the 7 p.m. close in Moscow. The ruble gained 0.5 percent to 39.9301 per euro and was little changed at 35.9975 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.

Brent crude lost 1.1 percent to $99.16 per barrel after the International Energy Agency trimmed its oil-demand outlook for this year and predicted “muted” growth in 2013. Oil and gas together contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue, according to the government’s estimates.

“The external backdrop is moderately negative, which constrains the potential for improvement in the Russian market,” analysts at OAO Sberbank, Russia’s largest lender, wrote in markets commentary on its website today.

Investors increased bets on the ruble weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing its at 33.3103 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 33.255 per dollar yesterday.

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