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Ruble Slides Third Day as Importers Buy Foreign Currency

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Dec. 17 (Bloomberg) -- The ruble weakened for a third day against the dollar, sliding by the most in almost eight weeks as importers of consumer goods bought foreign currency during the year’s busiest shopping season.

The ruble slid 0.7 percent against the dollar to 30.9400 by the close in Moscow, the biggest drop since Oct. 23 and its longest losing streak since Oct. 29. It lost 1.1 percent versus the central bank’s target euro-dollar basket to 35.3678 and declined 1.4 percent versus the euro to 40.7795. An index of five-year government bond yields compiled by the Micex rose six basis points to 6.48 percent.

“Sellers of consumer goods, mostly electronics, are actively buying foreign currency,” Vladimir Pantyushin, chief economist at Barclays Plc’s investment-banking unit in Moscow said by phone today. “They need to pay for goods delivered to Russia. Sales have reportedly been strong ahead of the holidays.”

An average Russian plans to spend 382 euros ($503) on presents, parties and entertainment during the year-end holidays, a 9 percent increase from the year before, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Dec. 4, citing a survey by Deloitte. OAO M.Video, a Russian electronics retailer, is among the top stock choices for 2013 at Credit Suisse Group AG, according to a report emailed on Dec. 13.

Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 31.4072 per dollar in three months.

The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries fell three basis points to 173, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alex Nicholson in Moscow at anicholson6@bloomberg.net; Maria Levitov in London at mlevitov@bloomberg.net

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

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