Rouble firms as peak of dividend payouts passes
MOSCOW, Aug 3 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed against the U.S. dollar on Monday, shrugging off the downward trajectory of other emerging market currencies and of oil prices as the end neared of the dividend payout period that tends to pressure the currency.
After hitting its lowest in more than two months against the greenback last week, the rouble was 0.4% stronger against the dollar at 74.10 RUBUTSTN=MCX by 0730 GMT and had gained 0.5% to trade at 87.14 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.
In recent days, analysts have attributed the rouble's depreciation to Russian companies' dividend payments, which prompt some investors to convert their rouble payouts into foreign currency. They now see some potential for recovery as these payments are winding down.
"As the dividend season in Russia is likely passing its peak now..., we think the rouble will catch up with peers in the coming weeks," strategists from VTB Capital said in a note.
The rouble was unaffected by falling oil prices, which slipped on Monday because of concerns about oversupply as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies wind back production cuts this month. O/R
Surges in coronavirus cases around the globe also indicated that a recovery in fuel demand could be slower than expected.
Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 1.1% at $43.05 a barrel by 0741 GMT.
Russian stock indexes were trading higher.
The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.5% to 1,240.5 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.2% higher at 2,918.8 points.
For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY
For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM
(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Barbara Lewis)
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