Russian rouble climbs to over two-week high vs dollar

Credit: REUTERS/SHAMIL ZHUMATOV

MOSCOW, Feb 29 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble strengthened past 91 to the dollar for the first time in over two weeks on Thursday, buoyed by high oil prices on the back of supportive month-end tax payments by exporters.

At 0716 GMT, the rouble was 0.2% stronger against the dollar at 90.96 RUBUTSTN=MCX, its strongest point since Feb. 12. It had gained 0.4% to trade at 98.64 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX and firmed 0.2% against the yuan to 12.58 CNYRUBTOM=MCX.

The peak of a favourable month-end tax period has now passed, meaning support from exporters, who tend to convert foreign currency revenues to pay local liabilities, will decrease, said Banki.ru chief analyst Bogdan Zvarich.

The rouble's position could deteriorate later in the session, Zvarich said.

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.3% at $83.46 a barrel, but higher than it has traded for most of the last four months.

Russian stock indexes were higher.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.4% to 1,118.9 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.1% higher at 3,230.2 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Toby Chopra)

((alexander.marrow@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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