Russian rouble firms on U.S.-China trade deal hopes

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The Russian rouble firmed on Tuesday, supported by optimism on global markets about a phone call between China and the United States that could point to easing trade tensions between the two superpowers.

MOSCOW, Aug 25 (Reuters) - The Russian rouble firmed on Tuesday, supported by optimism on global markets about a phone call between China and the United States that could point to easing trade tensions between the two superpowers.

The rouble was 0.3% stronger against the dollar at 74.43 RUBUTSTN=MCX by 0730 GMT, and had gained 0.1% to trade at 87.91 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX.

Developments around U.S.-China relations are closely watched by Russian currency traders, who tend to sell the rouble when sentiment turns negative in favour of more secure assets.

"This morning global markets are in the green zone after the announcement of talks between the United States and China about a trade agreement," said Dmitry Gritskevich, an analyst at Promsvyazbank. He expects the rouble to remain below 74.50 against the dollar on Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held a phone call with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in which they reaffirmed their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal.

The two countries' first formal dialogue since early May came amid growing concerns the deal could be on shaky ground in an increasingly confrontational bilateral relationship. The U.S. Trade Representative's office said both sides saw progress.

Crude oil prices - also a major factor for the Russian economy given its major crude exports - were mixed as traders weighed massive production cuts in the U.S. Gulf Coast from Tropical Storms Marco and Laura against rising coronavirus cases in Asia and Europe. O/R

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was up 0.2% at $45.21 a barrel by 0745 GMT.

Russian stock indexes were trading higher.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was up 0.3% to 1,285.2 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.3% higher at 3,037.1 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber Editing by David Holmes)

((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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