Russian rouble hits 72 vs dollar on limited risk appetite, falling oil prices

Credit: REUTERS/MAXIM SHEMETOV

The Russian rouble weakened on Friday, slipping to 72 against the dollar for the first time since July 7, as investor concerns over China-U.S. relations and rising COVID-19 infections worldwide continued to impede risk appetite.

By 1555 GMT, the rouble was 0.5% weaker against the dollar at 71.88 RUBUTSTN=MCX, and had lost 0.8% to trade at 82.17 versus the euro EURRUBTN=MCX, a 10-week low.

Brent crude oil LCOc1, a global benchmark for Russia's main export, was down 0.4% at $43.22 a barrel.

Some emerging market currencies performed well on Friday, despite pessimism over U.S.-China ties and the high rise in COVID-19 infections in the United States, said Yuri Kravchenko, head of Veles Capital's bank and money market analysis department.

"The fall of the rouble seemed to be the most noticeable against the general emerging market currency background," he said in a note, adding that the correction in oil prices was adding to the pressure.

Fears over the reimposition of lockdown measures following a jump in coronavirus infections in some U.S. states saw the dollar gain from safe-haven inflows.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's administration is considering banning travel to the United States by all members of the Chinese Communist Party, according to a person familiar with the matter, in a move that would surely put further strain on relations between Washington and Beijing.

As the U.S. presidential election draws nearer, Grigory Zhirnov of Nordea Bank warned of the likely increased strengthening of anti-Russian sanctions rhetoric, which he said would not add optimism to the Russian currency market.

Russian stock indexes were mixed.

The dollar-denominated RTS index .IRTS was down 0.3% to 1,216.1 points. The rouble-based MOEX Russian index .IMOEX was 0.5% higher at 2,774.8 points.

For Russian equities guide see RU/EQUITY

For Russian treasury bonds see 0#RUTSY=MM

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky, William Maclean)

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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