Ruble Gains to Strongest Since December as Brent Crude Rebounds

  • Russian currency reverses losses triggered by Brussels attack
  • Oil rises as more nations set to discuss a freeze in output

Russia’s ruble rose with oil, reversing earlier declines triggered by deadly attacks in Brussels at the main airport and a subway station.

The ruble strengthened 0.8 percent to 67.286 per dollar by 8:25 p.m. in Moscow, the strongest level since Dec. 1, as Brent crude extended gains on a report more countries may discuss a freeze in output. The currency of the world’s biggest energy exporter retreated as much as 0.7 percent earlier along with emerging-market assets as news of the bomb blasts roiled global markets and provoked a flight to gold, Treasuries and German government bonds.

OPEC Secretary General Abdalla El-Badri said on Monday that 15 or 16 nations will attend oil-output freeze talks in Doha on April 17, helping lift commodity prices. The ruble’s rally of 12 percent over the past month has been the best worldwide and was driven by oil’s recovery from a near 13-year low.

“Crude is doing well because of the news about the output freeze,” said Dmitri Petrov, an analyst at Nomura International Plc. “That’s helping pull the ruble back from the earlier risk-off driven selloff.”

The ruble will only strengthen beyond 66 per dollar if crude extends gains, said Piotr Matys, a strategist for emerging-market currencies at Rabobank in London. Brent, used to price the country’s main export blend, rose 0.5 percent to $41.75 in London.

The 14-day relative strength index for the ruble climbed to 70.18 on Tuesday, the highest since April 16, and above the level of 70, which to some analysts signals a security is overbought and is poised to decline.

Russian government bonds were little changed, with the yield on five-year debt trading at 9.13 percent. The Micex Index was also little changed at 1,902.

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