Rouble opens steady, hanging on U.S. Fed rate decision

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The Russian rouble opened slightly firmer against the dollar on Wednesday, waiting on the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting which is widely expected to produce a benchmark rate cut for the third time this year.

By Alexander Marrow

MOSCOW, Oct 30 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble opened slightly firmer against the dollar on Wednesday, waiting on the outcome of a U.S. Federal Reserve meeting which is widely expected to produce a benchmark rate cut for the third time this year.

At 0801 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 63.82 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had gained 0.1% to trade at 70.96 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.

The rouble has edged away from the three-month high it reached versus the dollar last week, hurt in part by a slight dip in oil prices, but rebounded on Wednesday.

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.1% at $61.5 a barrel.

Analysts said anticipation ahead of the U.S. Fed's rate decision and subsequent press conference by chair Jerome Powell may limit trading on Wednesday.

"Investors are reducing activity in the market on the whole," Anton Startsev, chief analyst at brokerage Olma, said in a note.

A number of emerging market currencies suffered intra-day declines on Tuesday following a Reuters report that an interim trade agreement between China and the United States may not be completed in time to be signed in November.

The rouble has now lost support of month-end tax payments that prompt export-focused companies to convert their foreign currency to meet local duties, but could benefit from government bond auctions later on Wednesday.

OFZ treasury bond auctions by the finance ministry take place on Wednesdays and usually prompt market players to buy the country's sovereign debt.

Yields on Russia's 10-year OFZ bonds, which move inversely to their price, rose to 6.43% on Wednesday, climbing away from the 11-year low of 6.35% reached on Tuesday. RU10YT=RR

Russian stock indexes were down.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 0.2% to 1,421.7 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.2% lower at 2,880.4 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow Editing by David Holmes)

((alexander.marrow@thomsonreuters.com; +7 495 775 1242;))

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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