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Ruble Retreats Against Central Bank Basket as Trading Resumes

The ruble fell for a second session and yields on Russia’s government debt increased as trading in Moscow reopened the day after crude lost the most in more than two weeks.

The Russian currency weakened 0.1 percent against the central bank’s target basket of dollars and euros to 35.5779 at 6:52 p.m. in Moscow. The ruble declined 0.4 percent against the dollar to 31.2475. The Micex Index of 50 stocks dropped 0.7 percent to 1376.56 today. The Moscow Exchange was closed yesterday for a public holiday and most businesses in Russia are shut through May 3.

Crude in New York plunged 2.6 percent yesterday as U.S. inventories reached an 82-year high amid signs of an economic slowdown in the U.S. and China. It added 0.6 percent today to $91.66 a barrel after the European Central Bank cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low. Oil and natural gas contribute about 50 percent of Russia’s budget revenue.

The yield on the benchmark OFZ bond due February 2027 advanced five basis points, or 0.5 percentage point, to 6.85 percent after dropping to a record at the end of last month.

OAO Bashneft, the oil company controlled by billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov’s AFK Sistema holding, fell 6.7 percent to 1845 rubles. The board recommended paying dividends for 2012 of 24 rubles a share compared with 99 rubles for the previous year, the company said April 30. OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s third-largest oil producer, retreated 3.7 percent to 25.703 rubles.

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