Ruble Gains to Dollar as Crude Oil Climbs, Europe Officials Meet

The ruble snapped two days of declines against the dollar as oil, Russia’s chief export earner, rose and European officials meet to discuss bailout funds for Greece.

The Russian currency added 0.1 percent to 31.6101 against the dollar by the close in Moscow. It was little changed versus the euro at 40.2100 and against the central bank’s euro-dollar target basket at 35.4801.

European finance chiefs convene in Brussels today to prevent a 5 billion-euro ($6.4 billion) Greek bill redemption on Nov. 16 from triggering an accidental default. Crude oil rose as much as 0.6 percent to $86.54 per barrel in New York. U.S. cash bond markets are closed for the Veteran’s Day public holiday.

“It’s not ruled out that today’s European summit will move forward on the issue of Greece’s bailout,” Alexei Egorov, an analyst with Moscow-based OAO Nomos Bank, said by phone. “That may support the ruble. With the U.S. market closed today there are fewer investors on the global market and it is quite thin.”

Greece may require an additional 15 billion euros, according to a draft of report obtained by Bloomberg from the so-called troika, a group of officials from the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission which oversees euro-area rescue packages.

Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 32.0825 per dollar in three months compared with 32.1100 on Nov. 9.

The extra yield that investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries fell two basis points to 196, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index. An index of five-year government bond yields rose two basis points to 7.056 percent.

Tax payments later in the month may support the currency, Dmitry Polevoy, a Moscow-based economist at ING Groep NV, said by e-mail. “The tax-driven selling of foreign currency may be supportive for the ruble or at least limiting its weakness if pressure from global markets continues,” he said.

“Levels above 31.6 rubles per dollar look juicy for exporters,” who must pay social taxes this week, he said.

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