Ruble Climbs for Fourth Day as U.S. Data Stoke Stimulus Wagers

The ruble rose for a fourth day as appetite for riskier developing-nation assets increased after U.S. jobs data spurred bets further stimulus cuts may be delayed.

The currency added 0.3 percent to 40.1672, a 1.4 percent increase this week versus the central bank’s basket of dollars and euros as of 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the regulator stops its market operations. The yield on Russian government bonds due February 2027 declined four basis points to 8.15 percent, bringing the weekly decline to 26 points.

The 113,000 increase in U.S. employment in January missed the median forecast of economists in a Bloomberg survey. The Federal Reserve has been scrutinizing employment data to determine the timing and pace of cuts to stimulus. The central bank last week said it will press on with a second reduction to its monthly bond buying, by $10 billion to $65 billion, citing an improvement in the labor market.

“The fact that the numbers were below expectations for the second time in a row tells us that there is a possibility that the Fed may put tapering on hold, which is good for emerging-markets currencies,” Denis Korshilov, head of fixed income, currencies and commodities at ZAO Citibank in Moscow, said by phone.

The ruble advanced 0.3 percent against the dollar to 34.5830 and gained 0.4 percent against the euro to 47.0040. An index of the 20 most-actively traded developing-nation currencies gained less than 0.1 percent to 90.08.

“It’s a correction, it’s not a reversal yet. Investor sentiment toward emerging markets is still rather negative,” Korshilov said. “The caveat is that this correction does not necessarily stop here.”

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