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Ruble Retreats for Second Day to Dollar on Oil, Draghi Comments

Aug. 2 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble slid for a second day as oil fell and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi failed to reassure investors he was ready to take immediate steps to support the economy.

The Russian currency depreciated 0.5 percent to 32.4950 per dollar by the close in Moscow. The ruble gained 0.5 percent to 39.5825 per euro and was little changed at 35.7110 against the central bank’s target dollar-euro basket.

Draghi signaled the ECB intends to join forces with governments to buy bonds in sufficient quantities to ease the region’s debt crisis, while conceding Germany’s Bundesbank has reservations about the plan. His comments come a week after he pledged to do “whatever it takes” within the ECB’s mandate to save the currency bloc. Oil, Russia’s main export earner, fell 0.9 percent to $88.07 a barrel in New York to the lowest since July 13.

“We are seeing the ruble weakening a little because risk globally is off the table,” Bruce Bower, a partner at Moscow-based hedge fund Verno Capital, said by phone today before Draghi’s comments.

Investors increased bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing the ruble at 33.0775 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 33.0100 per dollar yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Nicholson in Moscow at anicholson6@bloomberg.net

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

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