MOSCOW, Nov 21 ― The Russian rouble opened higher today, reaching the strongest levels since the end of June in expectation of forex sales by the export-oriented companies.
At 0641 GMT, the rouble was 0.57 per cent stronger against the dollar at 87.91 and had gained 0.34 per cent to trade at 96.37 versus the euro. It had firmed 0.15 per cent against the yuan to 12.30.
Early today, the rouble reached 87.70 per US dollar and 95.76 per euro, the highest since June 30.
The rouble has recorded weekly growth for six weeks in a row against the dollar and has firmed from beyond 100 since a presidential decree requiring some exporters to convert a significant portion of foreign exchange revenue was announced last month.
Month-end tax payments, which usually see exporters convert foreign currency revenues into roubles to meet domestic liabilities, are likely to support the rouble this week.
The Bank of Russia's interest rate hike to 15 per cent in late October has also buttressed the currency. The bank has signalled that another increase may be needed before it can start lowering the cost of borrowing, but analysts broadly agree that the cycle of rate hikes is close to completion.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.77 per cent at US$81.69 a barrel.
Russian stock indexes traded sideways in the early minutes of the session.
The dollar-denominated RTS index was up 0.27 per cent to 1,145.56 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index was 0.35 per cent lower at 3,169.57 points. ― Reuters