Ruble Pares Gains to Central Bank’s Basket as Tax Support Wanes

The ruble pared gains against the central bank’s dollar-euro basket as the Russian tax period wound down, easing demand for the local currency.

The ruble was little changed against the basket at 34.7701 as of 2.38 p.m. in Moscow after rising as much as 0.2 percent to 34.7063. It strengthened 0.3 percent against the dollar to 30.3205 and weakened 0.3 percent against the euro to 40.2060.

The monthly tax period, when exporters sell a part of their foreign currency revenue to buy rubles, ends with company income taxes on Feb. 28. Oil, Russia’s main export, rose 1 percent in London to $115.20 per barrel of Brent crude.

“After the payment of the mineral extraction tax today exporters’ activity will decline substantially,” OAO Rosbank analysts led by Vladimir Kolychev said in an e-mailed note.

With tax payments out of the way, the ruble will “likely slide” to 34.75 rubles to 35 rubles against the basket, Rosbank analysts said.

The yield on OFZ bonds due 2028 fell three basis points, or 0.03 percentage points, from a record high of 7.31 percent on Feb. 22.

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