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Ruble Strengthens Against Dollar on Rising Oil, Tax Payments

The ruble advanced as oil, Russia’s main export earner, gained and companies started buying the domestic currency ahead of tax payments due next week.

The ruble gained 0.2 percent against the dollar to 31.0990 at 7 p.m. in Moscow, erasing losses of as much as 0.2 percent earlier in the day. The Russian currency rose 0.1 percent versus the euro to 40.1275 and was 0.2 percent up against the central bank’s euro-dollar target basket.

Oil gained 1.3 percent to $93.54 per barrel in New York after earlier declines on concern that escalating tension in the Middle East will disrupt supplies in a region responsible for more than a third of global output. Oil and gas account for about 50 percent of Russia’s government revenue.

“The main reason is oil,” Igor Akinshin, a currency trader at Moscow-based Alfa Bank said by phone. “Also the tax period is ahead. We have seen some purchase of the ruble.”

Russian exporters began selling dollars to pay government taxes next week, giving support to the ruble, Dmitry Polevoy, a Moscow-based economist at ING Groep NV, said an e-mailed note today. Companies are due to pay about 900 billion rubles ($29 billion) including in corporate profit tax and mineral extraction tax over the next two weeks, he said.

Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 31.5578 per dollar in three months compared with 31.6405 yesterday.

The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries fell five basis points to 185, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.

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