Ruble nears one-month low, stocks fall as oil prices drag

MOSCOW, Nov. 3 (Reuters) – The Russian ruble fell on Wednesday, heading towards a one-month low against the dollar and the euro, as oil prices fell and the market waited for any announcements from the US Federal Reserve on reduction.

At around 3:38 p.m. GMT, the ruble lost 1% to 72.18 against the dollar, a level last seen on October 7, except for a drop of a few seconds on the Moscow Stock Exchange on the 22nd. October, possibly caused by a trading error.

It also lost 1% against the euro, trading at 83.61, its weakest since October 7.

The US Federal Reserve is the center of attention as the market searches for clues as to when and how many increases in interest rates since December 2018.

The Fed is also expected to announce that it will cut its $ 120 billion monthly bond buying program by $ 15 billion. Monetary tightening in the United States is expected to support the dollar, while putting pressure on the ruble.

So far this year, the ruble has outperformed other emerging market currencies, but it may come under downward pressure from risk aversion, as investors generally tend to reduce their risk exposure before long ones. weekends. The Moscow Stock Exchange will be closed on November 4.

Falling oil prices and the Finance Ministry’s decision not to hold an OFZ Treasury bond auction on Wednesday created a negative backdrop for the ruble, which could test the 72.5 mark for the greenback. Promsvyazbank analysts said in a note.

The ruble could weaken to around 73 against the dollar by the end of the week due to lower oil prices and weak trading due to public holidays, Sberbank Asset Management said.

Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s main export, fell 2.8% to $ 82.34 a barrel, putting pressure on Russian stock indexes.

The RTS index (.IRTS) denominated in dollars fell 1.5% to 1,823.3 points. The ruble-based Russian MOEX index (.IMOEX) was down 0.7% to 4,178.3 points.

Mercury Retail Group on Wednesday announced the indicative price range for its Moscow IPO, involving a market cap of $ 12 billion to $ 13 billion, amid Russian IPO activity. Read more

Reporting by Alexander Marrow and Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Alison Williams and Devika Syamnath

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Felix J. Dixon

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