Ruble Strengthens as Bank Rossii Snaps 100 Days of Interventions

The ruble gained as companies paid local taxes and Russia’s central bank said it didn’t intervene to stem the currency’s declines for the first time since May.

The ruble climbed 0.2 percent against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros to 37.1240 by 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the central bank stops its market operations. The yield on government bonds due February 2027 rose four basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 7.61 percent.

Bank Rossii, which reports interventions with a lag, didn’t buy or sell currency on Oct. 17, it said today. While the central bank spent more than $19 billion in 100 trading sessions since May 29 to smooth exchange-rate volatility, Bank Rossii is paring back interventions as it moves to a free-floating currency in 2015. Companies face about 900 billion rubles ($28 billion) of taxes this month, Vladimir Miklashevsky, a trading strategist at Danske Bank A/S in Helsinki, said by e-mail.

“It’s too early to speak of stabilization on the currency markets,” Denis Poryvay and Maria Pomelnikova, analysts at ZAO Raiffeisenbank in Moscow, wrote in an e-mailed note.

The ruble advanced 0.2 percent against the dollar to 31.8710 and strengthened 0.3 percent against the euro to 43.5520. Crude oil, Russia’s main export earner, traded little changed at $109.90 a barrel in London.

The Finance Ministry plans to offer 10 billion rubles of January 2028 bonds and 20 billion rubles of a new issue of notes due May 2020 on Oct. 23, the ministry said on its website today. Russia sold 14.7 billion rubles of bonds due Aug. 2023 and 11.6 billion rubles of notes due Jan. 2018 last week.

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