Ruble Strengthens Versus Basket as Exporters Pay Local Taxes

The ruble rose against the central bank’s target basket, approaching the regulator’s intervention zone as exporters sold foreign currency to pay taxes.

The Russian currency rose 0.1 percent versus Bank Rossii’s dollar-euro basket to 34.6541 by 11.30 a.m. in Moscow. The ruble was little changed against the dollar at 30.1300.

Companies are selling dollars and euros and buying local currency to pay excise duties due today. Bank Rossii spent $46 million buying dollars and euros on Feb. 14 when the ruble strengthened beyond 34.65 for the first time since Jan. 25, the regulator said on its website today. Crude, the country’s main export earner, rose 0.1 percent to $117.73 a barrel in London.

“Despite the global volatility, the market disposition is determined to a large degree by internal flows,” ING Groep NV analyst Dmitry Polevoy said in an e-mailed note.

The yield on Russian government notes due 2027 rose one basis point to 7.07 percent.

“The ruble is holding to its current positions only thanks to exporters and their currency selling,” Ruslan Tongiev, head of financial markets operations at Promsvyazbank, said by phone. “Their offer will end later, and the ruble will partially give up its position.”

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