Rouble, stocks up as risks of new sanctions fade for now


MOSCOW, April 17 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed in volatile trade and stocks inched higher early on Tuesday after risks of new sanctions against Russia eased.

U.S. President Donald Trump has delayed imposing additional sanctions on Russia and is unlikely to approve them unless Moscow carries out a new cyber attack or some other provocation, a senior administration official said on Monday.

The rouble gained 0.3 percent to 61.00 against the dollar as of 0721 GMT, after briefly touching the 60 mark, its strongest level since April 9, when the sanctions-driven sell-off gathered steam.

Russian lawmakers reacted to the sanctions promptly last week, proposing the widest list of retaliatory measures so far. Later, facing critics from the businesses that warned that such measures would hurt Russia more than the West, the decision was postponed until mid-May.

This, together with Trump's apparent decision to delay more sanctions against Moscow, lent support to the market.

Shares in Sberbank, Russia's top lender, rallied 4.8 percent, outperforming the benchmark rouble-traded MOEX index that climbed 1.65 percent to 2,179.3.

Shares in Russian aluminium producer Rusal, targeted by the latest U.S. sanctions, rose 5.8 percent. Still, Rusal shares were nearly 40 percent cheaper than before the U.S. sanctions.

Prices for oil, Russia's key export, helped the Russian market, with Brent crude oil rising 0.25 percent to $71.67 a barrel.

This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , Stocks , Economy

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