The ruble gained a second day as the price of crude oil, Russia’s main export earner, increased on speculation China will take more steps to bolster growth.
The ruble traded 0.2 percent stronger at 34.9209 against the central bank’s target euro-dollar basket, which it uses to smooth exchange-rate moves that can hurt exporters. It was little changed at 31.5354 per dollar and appreciated 0.3 percent to 38.92 against the euro at 1:36 p.m. in Moscow.
Oil gained as much as 0.6 percent before trading 0.4 percent higher at $93.68 a barrel in New York. A deceleration in consumer price gains may encourage Chinese policy makers to introduce more measures to support growth, aiding efforts to reverse an economic slowdown that’s lasted six quarters. Crude and natural gas contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s state revenue, according to government estimates.
“We see a bit of volatility in the ruble these days,” Andrey Volkov, head of foreign exchange and money markets at ZAO Natexis Bank in Moscow, said today. The “risk-on atmosphere” in emerging markets after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi outlined a bond-buying plan last week “is starting to vanish,” he wrote in an e-mailed note today.
Investors increased bets on the currency weakening, with non-deliverable forwards showing it at 32.0267 per dollar in three months, compared with expectations of 32.0133 per dollar on Aug. 8.