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Ruble Strengthens for Second Day, Bond Yields Fall on Oil Gain

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

The Russian currency gained 0.7 percent to 32.07 per dollar by the close in Moscow, extending yesterday’s 1.4 percent advance. The country’s $3.5 billion of Eurobonds due April 2020 climbed for a fourth day, cutting the yield by 17 basis points, or 0.17 percentage point, to 3.109 percent.

Brent crude rose 0.9 percent to $106.20 per barrel after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi predicted the euro will survive and reports signaled improving economic prospects in the U.S. and China. The ruble moved between gains and losses against the dollar earlier in the day as investors scrambled to cut short positions in the currency after the ECB statement, according to Sergey Fishgoyt, deputy head of foreign exchange at Otkritie Financial Corp. in Moscow.

“It was like a train whose driver didn’t know where to go,” he said by e-mail. “After Draghi’s comments everybody felt happy with commodities and emerging-market currencies, and the markets were not ready with their positions.”

The ruble gained 0.2 percent to 39.635 per euro and 0.4 percent to 35.4743 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors pared bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 32.5825 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.8763 per dollar yesterday.

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