Ruble drops from highs, stocks fall as oil prices retreat
MOSCOW, October 1 (Reuters) – The Russian ruble eased from its 14-month peak against the euro and weakened against the dollar Friday as well as other emerging market currencies, while the MOEX stock index has also slipped all time highs as oil prices fell.
At 07:47 GMT, the ruble was 0.2% weaker against the dollar at 72.86 RUBUTSTN = MCX and loses 0.3% to 84.40 against the euro EURRUBTN = MCX after reaching its highest level since late July of 84.10 the day before.
Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, slipped 0.6% to $ 77.81 a barrel, moving away from levels above $ 80 seen in late September.
All eyes are now on Monday’s meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia-led Allies, together known as OPEC +, where producers will discuss whether to go beyond their existing agreement to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) in November and December.
Still, the ruble was the only major currency that strengthened against the US dollar in September thanks to central bank monetary tightening and an influx of foreign money into Russian government bonds, strategist Yuri Popov said. FX at SberCIB Investment Research.
The central bank could raise rates by 50 basis points in October and, if the dollar weakens globally, the ruble could strengthen to 71 against the greenback and even beyond, Popov said.
A Reuters poll this week showed the central bank is expected to hike its policy rate by at least 25 basis points to 7% at the next board meeting on October 22, as it stubbornly struggles with high inflation that reached mid-2016 levels.
Russian stock indices were down.
The RTS index in dollars .IRTS fell 0.9% to 1,762.4 points. The Russian MOEX index based on the ruble .IMOEX was down 0.7% to 4,076.3 points.
Shares in Russian home builder PIK PIKK.MM dipped about 11% to match the offering price of 1,275 rubles ($ 17.50) per share set by the company for its secondary public offering (SPO).
For the guide to Russian stocks, see EF / EQUITY
For Russian treasury bills, see 0 # RUTSY = MM
($ 1 = 72.8480 rubles)
(Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Giles Elgood)
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