Russian ruble moves higher as market sees coupon payouts


The Russian ruble edged higher in Moscow trade on Wednesday as investors hoped for peace talks over the Ukraine crisis sooner rather than later and markets focused on whether Russia would manage to pay coupons for government debt due at the end of the day or not.

t 0731 GMT, the ruble was 1.5 points stronger against the dollar at 108.51 and was up 0.5 points to trade at 117.95 against the euro – a small move relative to the volatility. recent strong move.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy says peace talks sound more realistic but need more time, which some analysts say will help reduce risks, even as fighting in Ukraine continues to act.

Russia has a payment of $117 million due on Wednesday on two Euros in dollars. Its finance ministry said it would make payments in rubles if sanctions prevented the payments in dollars – a move that the market would interpret as a default.

Fitch Ratings said on Tuesday that if the payments were made in rubles, it would become a sovereign default if not corrected after the 30-day grace period.

Events in Ukraine and subsequent sanctions on Moscow in response caused the worst economic crisis in Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The European Union on Tuesday introduced a raft of new sanctions, including bans on investments in the Russian energy sector, the export of luxury goods to Moscow and the import of luxury goods. steel products from Russia.

The Moscow stock market is largely closed on the orders of the central bank and will remain so for the rest of the week. Shares last traded in Moscow on February 25, after which the central bank imposed restrictions.

Russian brokerage ITI Capital said on Tuesday it has launched a program to buy or sell Russian blue chips while trading on the Moscow Exchange remains suspended.

Last week, Russia’s central bank banned the sale of dollars and euros through bank branches, in another step to protect foreign exchange liquidity held by local banks as the country was largely cut off. from the global financial system by Western sanctions.

While foreign exchange transactions are restricted, including with bank accounts and purchases abroad, Russians can still buy and sell foreign exchange online, with local banks charging fees from 104 up to 108 rubles to buy a dollar and offer for 112 to 129. Russian ruble moves higher as market sees coupon payouts

Fry Electronics Team

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