Russian Ruble Shaky in October Amid Fears of Increased Western Sanctions

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The Russian ruble (RUB) was supported by month-end tax payments as Russian markets opened steadily on Tuesday, despite persistent investor worries about the prospect of more Western sanctions against Moscow.

The RUB trades at the 61.95 mark, or -1.48% against the US dollar (USD) in the North American session on Tuesday. Against the euro (EUR), the single currency trades at 61.32 or -0.44%, but it held steady at 8.5 against the Chinese yuan (CNY), which is becoming a more significant currency for Moscow as it seeks to strengthen relations with Beijing.

Intense currency controls this year allowed the ruble to soar to multi-year highs, but since the beginning of October, the Russian currency has weakened amid choppy trade linked to Moscow’s military defeats in Ukraine and the prospect of further sanctions.

Commenting on the RUB’s price dynamics, Sinara Investment Bank analysts said in a research note earlier today:

“The tax payment period begins today, and therefore demand for rubles is growing … but risks remain high, and many market players are still taking a wait-and-see approach.”

Russian exporters are required to change their foreign currency revenues into rubles to make payments to the Russian government during the month-end tax period, which would go some way in strengthening the domestic currency.

shutterstock 2060030444 minGains in Russian Ruble to Be Capped by Fresh Round of Sanction

According to research analyst Andrey Kochetkov of Otkritie Bank, “the fall of the ruble below 60 against the US [dollar] is not guaranteed, but a return to below 61 is quite possible.”

Analysts added that any positive outcomes are likely to be capped by ongoing negotiations in Brussels over a new set of sanctions against Russia.

Meanwhile, the Russian equity markets continued to rise on Tuesday morning after gaining approximately 3% on Monday.

The MOEX Russian index, which is denominated in rubles, was up 0.4% at 2,020.6 points, while the dollar-based RTS index was down 0.1% at 1,026.5 points.

 

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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.