Rouble hits 10-day high against dollar, OPEC meeting in focus

Credit: REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

The Russian rouble hit a 10-day high against the dollar on Thursday thanks to a surge in oil prices ahead of an OPEC meeting and lower foreign currency purchases by the finance ministry.

MOSCOW, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble hit a 10-day high against the dollar on Thursday thanks to a surge in oil prices ahead of an OPEC meeting and lower foreign currency purchases by the finance ministry.

At 0712 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 63.84 RUBUTSTN=MCX, its strongest level since Nov 25, and gained 0.2% to trade at 70.73 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.

Market activity is expected to remain lower until after a two-day OPEC meeting and the publication of U.S. nonfarm payrolls on Friday.

Analysts from Rosbank said an increase in oil prices this week ahead of the OPEC meeting had supported the Russian currency as oil market players reacted positively to the possibility of deeper production cuts.

Prices for Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, surged more than 3% on Wednesday but began to fall in muted trading ahead of OPEC talks on Vienna on Thursday.

The rouble is also being buttressed by positive signals over trade talks between the United States and China after reports that the two sides were moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs to be rolled back in a phase-one deal.

The rouble also received a boost after the Russian finance ministry announced on Wednesday that its daily purchases of foreign currency would be lower than initially forecast.

The ministry said it would buy 9.3 billion roubles ($146 million) worth of foreign currency between Dec. 6 and Jan. 14, down from 11.4 billion roubles during the previous month.

Russian stock indexes were up.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.2% to 1,432.5 points, while the rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.2% higher at 2,906.7 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by John Stonestreet)

((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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