Rouble firms on rising oil prices, demand for risky assets

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The rouble firmed against the U.S. dollar on Monday, supported by rising oil prices and the first sign of a thaw in Russia's ties with Ukraine.

MOSCOW, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The rouble firmed against the U.S. dollar on Monday, supported by rising oil prices and the first sign of a thaw in Russia's ties with Ukraine.

At 0751 GMT, the rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 65.49 RUBUTSTN=MCX, its highest since Aug. 23, and had gained 0.3% to trade at 72.25 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX, a one-month high.

Dmitry Polevoy, chief economist at the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said he expected a "moderate strengthening of the rouble, especially given the current levels of emerging market currencies, oil prices and demand for risky assets".

Oil prices rose on Monday on expectations that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, will continue to support output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 1% at $62.14 a barrel by 0700 GMT.

Domestically, the rouble has been supported by a long-awaited prisoner swap between Russia and Ukraine that took place at the weekend. The swap is seen a first sign of an improvement in relations between Moscow and Kiev since Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Russian stock indexes were up. The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.5% to 1,347 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.2% higher at 2,802 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Alex Richardson)

((Gabrielle.Tetrault-Farber@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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