Rouble up despite trade deal setback; Mail.ru, Yandex in focus

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The rouble gained on Tuesday, with local taxes propping up demand for roubles and protecting the Russian currency from discouraging news regarding U.S-China trade talks.

MOSCOW, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The rouble gained on Tuesday, with local taxes propping up demand for roubles and protecting the Russian currency from discouraging news regarding U.S-China trade talks.

At 0745 GMT, the rouble was 0.1% stronger against the dollar at 63.79 RUBUTSTN=MCX and had gained 0.1% to trade at 70.65 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.

CNBC had reported Beijing was pessimistic about sealing a trade agreement with the United States because of President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs.

"Without important news, the markets are in standby mode," Rosbank said in a note. "The Russian rouble looks protected from depreciation because of the tax period: the sales of exporters will smooth out upward jumps of the USD/RUB pair."

The rouble usually sees support in the second half of every month as exporters buy Russia's currency to meet local duties.

Domestically, Russian rouble-denominated government bonds, or OFZs, are in the spotlight. The finance ministry on Tuesday is set to disclose details of its weekly OFZ bond auctions scheduled for Wednesday.

OFZ bonds are popular among foreign investors thanks to lucrative yields, and demand for such bonds is seen as a gauge of market sentiment towards Russian assets.

Yields on Russia's 10-year OFZ bonds, which move inversely to their price, were 6.45% on Tuesday, after reaching an 11-year low of 6.31% on Nov. 8. RU10YT=RR.

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.2% at $62.3 a barrel.

Russian stock indexes were up. The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.5% to 1,450.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.4% higher at 2,935.2 points.

Internet company Mail.ru MAILRq.L and state-owned Sberbank SBER.MM announced that a 64.6 billion=rouble ($1 billion) joint venture in food and taxi services would be completed by the end of the year.

Shares in Russia's largest technology company, Yandex YNDX.O, were down 1.2% following gains of 11.4% on Monday after it announced changes to its corporate governance structure.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

($1 = 63.7933 roubles)

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow, editing by Larry King)

((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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