Ruble Extends Gain This Month, Bonds Advance on U.S. Confidence

July 31 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble appreciated against the dollar and yields on Russia’s local debt fell after a report showed U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly rose this month.

The Russian currency strengthened less than 0.1 percent to 32.17 per dollar by the close in Moscow, extending its gain this month to 0.8%. The country’s 54 billion rubles ($1.7 billion) of local debt due February 2027 rose, cutting the yield by three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 8.33 percent.

The U.S. Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence increased for the first time in five months, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today, a sign economic growth may accelerate. Economists projected a fall in the index, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey.

“I expect a stronger ruble over the course of the first half of August, but I do not see dramatic moves,” Mikhail Palei, a Moscow-based foreign-exchange trader at VTB Capital, said by e-mail. “It’s like a storm in a teacup. Our daily volatility remains low, interest from end clients remains low.”

The ruble lost 0.4 percent to 39.5875 per euro and 0.2 percent to 35.5079 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket. Investors pared bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 32.6758 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.6775 per dollar yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Jordan in Moscow at jjordan22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gavin Serkin at gserkin@bloomberg.net