Ruble Snaps Two Days of Gains as Ukraine Concern Offsets Taxes

The ruble snapped two days of gains as concern political turmoil in Ukraine will hurt Russia’s outlook offset demand for local currency to pay company tax.

The ruble slid 0.2 percent to 41.5280 against Bank Rossii’s target basket of dollars and euros by 6 p.m. in Moscow, when the central bank stops its market operations. The yield on government bonds due February 2027 dropped six basis points, or 0.06 percentage point, to 8.32 percent.

The interim government in Ukraine, which is Russia’s fourth-largest trade partner, said the country needs $35 billion of financial assistance to avoid default as it issued an arrest warrant for fleeing ex-President Viktor Yanukovych. Russian companies pay about 280 billion rubles ($7.9 billion) in excise and mineral extraction taxes this week, according to the median of five analysts, surveyed by Bloomberg.

“There aren’t any positive expectations for the ruble yet and the news from Ukraine is at best unclear,” Dmitry Dorofeev, a money manager at BCS Financial Group in Moscow, said by e-mail today. Support from exporters buying rubles to pay tax “was exhausted in the first part of the day,” he said.

Ukraine is also home to a gas pipeline that Russia’s OAO Gazprom uses for more than half its European exports.

The ruble fell 0.2 percent to 35.5700 per dollar and slid 0.1 to 48.81 against the euro. The currency has depreciated 7.7 percent against the greenback this year, the second-worst performance among 24 emerging-markets currencies tracked by Bloomberg.

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