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Ruble Halts Seven-Day Rally After Oil Declines; Bond Yields Rise

The ruble snapped a seven-day rally as oil, Russia’s chief export earner, fell. Yields on ruble-denominated bonds rose.

The Russian currency weakened 0.5 percent against the dollar to 31.1750 by 7 p.m. in Moscow. An index of five-year government bond yields advanced 11 basis points to 6.79 percent, the biggest gain since Oct. 23.

Oil slid more than 1 percent to $86.01 per barrel in New York amid signs of rising supplies in the U.S. and concern that lawmakers are struggling to reach agreement on how to address the deficit of the world’s biggest crude consumer. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he was disappointed with progress made in congressional budget talks over $607 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to begin in January. Crude and natural gas account for about 50 percent of Russian government revenue.

“Oil is a driver,” Michael Workman, the head of fixed-income trading at Moscow-based Otkritie Financial Corp., said by e-mail today. “People are being more cautious as concern over U.S. budget talks drags on. There is less risk on and more watching at the moment.”

The ruble weakened 0.3 percent versus the central bank’s euro-dollar target basket and depreciated 0.1 percent against the euro to 40.1880.

The Finance Ministry today sold 13.5 billion ruble ($434 million) in five-year notes, so-called OFZ bonds, at an average yield of 6.8 percent, the lower end of its guidance range. The total demand for 15 billion rubles of debt on offer reached 28.4 billion rubles at the top end of the ministry’s 6.8-6.85 percent guidance, it said in a statement.


“Market sentiment remains strong ahead of Euroclear settlement,” Dmitry Dudkin, head of fixed-income analysis, at UralSib Financial Corp. in Moscow, said by e-mail. “The effect of liberalization is undoubtedly positive for the market.”

Russia plans to broaden access to the local debt market for foreign investors through settlement systems such as Euroclear Bank SA later this year.

Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 31.6050 per dollar in three months compared with 31.4840 yesterday.

The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries rose one basis point to 194, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.

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