The Russian rouble weakened against the dollar ahead of three treasury bond auctions by the finance ministry on Wednesday, hurt by reduced FX supply after the passing of a favorable month-end tax period, but supported by higher oil prices.
At 0738 GMT, the rouble was 0.4% weaker against the dollar at 61.50 and had gained 0.1% to trade at 60.69 versus the euro. It had shed 0.2% against the yuan to 8.42.
The rouble has now lost the support of month-end tax payments, which usually see exporters convert foreign currency revenues to pay local liabilities.
“Today in the course of trading we expect attempts by the rouble to recover its morning losses,” said Banki.ru chief analyst Bogdan Zurich.
“Despite a lower supply of foreign currency from exporters, the rise in oil prices may facilitate purchases in the national currency, which will allow the rouble to make a recovery over the course of the session and try to continue strengthening.”
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, was up 0.7% at $95.3 a barrel.
The finance ministry, which has already exceeded it fourth-quarter borrowing plan, intends to hold another three OFZ treasury bond auctions later on Wednesday.
Russian stock indexes pulled back from recent highs.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was down 0.9% at 1,108.1 points, easing from 1,119.62 points, its strongest since Sept. 30, a level scaled in the previous session.
The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.5% lower at 2,163.3 points, after hitting a near more than a five-week high of 2,185.60 points on Tuesday.