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Ruble Gains for Second Day as Crude Oil Trades at Two-Week High

19 Dec 2012

The ruble advanced for a second day against the dollar as crude oil, the nation’s main export earner, rose to a two-week high.

The ruble added 0.5 percent versus the dollar to 30.7150 by the close in Moscow. It lost 0.3 percent versus the euro to 40.8050 and added 0.1 percent to 35.2555 against the central bank’s target euro-dollar basket. An index of five-year government bond yields compiled by the Micex rose five basis points to 6.6317 percent.

Crude gained 0.9 percent to $88.69 a barrel in New York, the highest since Dec. 3. Russia is the world’s biggest energy exporter and oil and natural gas account for about 50 percent of the nation’s government revenue. The ruble has gained 4.5 percent against the dollar this year compared with a 1 percent gain for the Chinese yuan, a 2.7 percent drop for the rupee and a 10.4 percent retreat for Brazil’s real.

Non-deliverable forwards showed the ruble at 31.1915 per dollar in three months. The extra yield investors demand to own Russia’s dollar bonds over U.S. Treasuries widened one basis point to 162, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Index shows.

The ruble slumped 1.1 percent against the dollar in the first three days this week as importers of consumer goods bought foreign currency during the year’s busiest shopping season. The average Russian plans to spend the equivalent of $504 on presents, parties and entertainment during the year-end holidays, a 9 percent increase from the year before, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Dec. 4, citing a survey by Deloitte.