Ruble Extends Gains in Evening Session of First 2013 Day

The ruble strengthened against the dollar and the euro in the first trading day of 2013, catching up with gains in emerging-market assets.

Russia’s currency appreciated 0.6 percent to 30.2120 per dollar by the 11:30 p.m. close of trading in Moscow. It was the steepest one-day rally since Dec. 27. The ruble jumped 1.5 percent against the euro to 39.6635, leaving it 1.1 percent stronger at 34.4652 versus the dollar-euro basket used by the central bank to manage the currency.

Global stocks and commodities rallied at the start of the year after U.S. lawmakers agreed to a deal to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would have hobbled the world’s largest economy. Crude, Russia’s biggest export earner, rose for a third day in New York, adding 0.1 percent to $93.27 a barrel. Today was the first day of extended ruble trading hours on Russia’s Moscow Exchange.

“The Russian currency is just catching up with the wider market rally we have seen in recent weeks,” Tim Ash, a London-based strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd., said by e-mail today.

The ruble will probably strengthen beyond 30 per dollar this week from the 30.4075 level reached at the close of Russian markets Dec. 28, according to Adam Myers, European head of foreign-exchange strategy at Credit Agricole SA in London.

Futures due in March showed the ruble weakening 0.1 percent to 30.627 per dollar.

Yields on Russia’s ruble-denominated government debt due in July 2022 rose 14 basis points to 6.99 percent. The Micex Index of stocks climbed 2.7 percent to 1,514.82, before slipping 0.2 percent to 1,511.86 in the evening trading session.

The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries rose two basis points,or 0.02 percentage point, to 147 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index. An index of five-year government bond yields rose four basis points to 6.5508 percent.

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