Ruble Declines to Dollar on U.S. Data as Bond Yields Advance

The ruble weakened as better-than-forecast U.S. data reinforced the case for stimulus cuts, paring appetite for riskier emerging-market currencies.

The ruble depreciated 0.2 percent against the dollar to 33.4060 and was little changed at 38.1444 versus the central bank’s dollar-euro basket by 6 p.m. in Moscow. The yield on government bonds due February 2027 rose two basis points, or 0.02 percentage point, to 8 percent.

Most emerging-market currencies fell against the dollar with Indonesia’s rupiah weakening 2.1 percent and the Turkish lira sliding 0.9 percent. U.S. jobless claims declined by 9,000 to 323,000 in the week ended Aug. 31, data showed today, less than the lowest estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

“Non-residents have a negative approach to all emerging-markets currencies,” Dmitry Polevoy, chief economist for Russia and CIS at ING Groep in Moscow, said in e-mailed comments. “The ruble is no exception here.”

The central bank manages the ruble’s exchange rate against the dollar-euro basket and has intervened since May to stem the currency’s slide amid concern the U.S. Federal Reserve will pare bond buying as the economy improves.

Bank Rossii sold 11.21 billion rubles ($335 million) of foreign currency on Sept. 3 and moved the corridor within which it intervenes by 5 kopeks yesterday to 32.30-32.90 against the basket after raising the band six times last month.

Intervention Zone

Bank Rossii shifts the trading band as soon as so-called non-targeted interventions reach $450 million. The trading corridor’s adjustment is designed to keep the ruble from spending too much time in the weaker parts of the intervention zones, where the central bank spends as much as $400 million a day, and help preserve its foreign currency and gold reserves, Morgan Stanley analysts said last month.

Crude oil gained as much as 0.9 percent to $108.17 per barrel in New York after a U.S. Senate panel authorized a limited military strike on Syria, heightening the threat of a wider conflict in the Middle East. Russia’s oil and natural-gas industries generate about 50 percent of government revenue.

“If oil can keep current levels, the ruble may get new support and strengthen,” ING’s Polevoy said.

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