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Ruble Advances Most in Two Weeks to Basket as Tax Payments Start

The ruble gained the most in two weeks as monthly tax payments bolstered demand for the Russian currency from exporters in the world’s biggest energy supplier.

The ruble strengthened 0.3 percent to 37.8263 against the central bank’s euro-dollar basket by 6 p.m. in Moscow, the strongest advance on a closing basis since Aug. 2. The yield on the government’s ruble bond due February 2027 rose three basis points, or 0.03 percentage point, to 7.76 percent, the highest since Aug. 1.

Companies must pay about 80 billion ($2.4 billion) to 100 billion rubles in taxes today, with 530 billion rubles due in total in August, OAO Promsvyazbank analyst Alexei Egorov said in an e-mailed note on Aug. 14. U.S. Treasuries fell to the lowest since August 2011, pushing the yield on the 10-year note to 2.8 percent.

“There was strong demand right in the morning, most likely tax-related,” Mikhail Palei, a foreign exchange trader at VTB Capital in Moscow, said by phone. “In the evening, as the Treasuries fell, the ruble declined along other emerging market currencies, but it can’t close lower today, there was too much internal demand.”

Brent crude gained for a fifth day in London, rising 0.6 percent to $110.81 a barrel. Oil is Russia’s main export earner. The ruble strengthened 0.2 percent against the dollar to 33.0295 and advanced 0.4 percent against the euro to 43.6900.

Oil above $110 to the barrel and the ruble 0.3 percent weaker against the dollar this month are a “fantastic gift” for exporters, Dmitry Polevoy, an economist at ING Groep NV in Moscow, said in an e-mailed note.

The central bank raised the ruble’s trading corridor by another 5 kopeks to 32 to 39 rubles against the basket from Aug. 14, according to a statement today. Bank Rossii shifts the band every time the accumulated amount of its non-targeted interventions reaches $450 million.

Currency Sales

The regulator, which reports interventions with a lag, sold the equivalent of 10.79 billion rubles of foreign currency on Aug. 13 compared with 6.59 billion rubles the previous day, it said on its website.

The Russian currency has declined about 8 percent against the dollar-euro basket since the beginning of 2013. That compares with a 6.5 percent drop for JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s index of emerging-market currencies and a 4.2 percent increase for Brent oil.

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