The ruble depreciated the most in almost two months against the dollar and yields on Russia’s international debt rose as bets on decelerating global economic growth hurt prices for oil, the country’s main export.
The ruble lost 2.1 percent to 32.72 per dollar by the 7 p.m. close in Moscow, the sharpest decline since May 31. Russia’s $3 billion of Eurobonds due April 2042 fell, increasing the yield by 14 basis points, or 0.14 percentage point, to 4.754 percent.
Brent crude sank 3 percent to $103.63 per barrel after a Chinese central bank adviser said the nation’s economy may cool further. International creditors meet in Athens tomorrow amid concern Greece may not meet its bailout targets, and after an aid package for Spain failed to prevent the euro declining to the lowest in more than two years against the dollar.
“We believe that the ruble is vulnerable near-term, as it has lagged the selloff of other emerging-market currencies,” Benoit Anne, the London-based head of emerging-market strategy at Societe Generale SA, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “There may be some temporary support locally coming from the tax payment requirements, but overall we think that a return to the 37 area against the basket cannot be ruled out.”
Russian companies pay taxes in the second half of every month. Exporters convert revenue from abroad into rubles, boosting the Russian currency.
“We need to watch the news from Europe,” Vladislav Filimonov, a currency trader at UBS AG in Moscow, said by e-mail. “In the short term the move looks a bit overdone.”
The ruble lost 1.6 percent to 39.61 per euro and 1.9 percent to 35.8205 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors increased bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable fowards showing the ruble at 33.2445 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.5605 per dollar on July 20.