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Ruble Climbs 1st Day in Four as Oil Gains After Bernanke Speech

Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble strengthened for the first time in four days as Brent crude climbed and U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said he wouldn’t rule out more stimulus.

The ruble appreciated 0.7 percent to 32.3500 against the dollar at 7 p.m. in Moscow, paring its depreciation this month to 0.6 percent. The Russian currency gained 0.2 percent versus the euro to 40.6800 today and appreciated 0.4 percent against the central bank’s currency basket.

Oil, Russia’s chief export earner, rose for a second day, gaining 1 percent to $113.75 a barrel by the close of Moscow currency trading. Bernanke said additional asset purchases are an option as policy makers consider further steps to bring down the unemployment rate.

“Given that markets got nothing new in terms of Fed action details, we don’t see reasons why the ruble should rise or fall substantially unless oil turns really south,” Dmitry Polevoy, a Moscow-based economist at ING Groep NV, said by e-mail.

The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries was unchanged at 222, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index. An index of five-year domestic government bond yields compiled by Micex fell four basis points to 7.55 percent, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lyubov Pronina in London at lpronina@bloomberg.net

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

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