UPDATE 1-Ruble strengthens beyond 63 against USD, Russian stocks rally stutters
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By Alexandre Moelle
MOSCOW, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The ruble strengthened to above the 63 mark against the dollar on Friday as demand for foreign currencies began to wane in Moscow, while geopolitical risks and possible profit-taking weighed limited the recovery of Russian stock markets.
As of 09:38 GMT, the ruble was up 1.2% against the dollar at 62.84 and gained 0.4% to trade at 62.50 against the euro. It was down 0.1% against the yuan at 8.69.
The ruble gained in the previous session against the dollar after nine successive days of decline.
“The recent increase in demand for foreign currency, which may be partly due to dividend payments made in October, appears to have been largely satisfied,” Otkritie Broker said.
The Russian currency is expected to gain support in the second half of the month as export-oriented companies convert their foreign currency holdings into rubles to pay off their domestic debts.
The ruble is the world’s best-performing currency this year, buoyed by capital controls and falling imports after Western governments imposed heavy sanctions on Russia, while dozens of foreign companies suspended operations in the country.
Brent crude oil, a global benchmark for Russia’s top export, fell 0.9% to $93.7 a barrel.
Russian stock indexes, which have been steadily recovering since falling to multi-month lows on Monday, were mixed.
“The Russian stock market is likely to tip (short-term) as no catalyst is seen, despite a positive backdrop,” BCS Global Markets said in a note. “Additionally, geopolitical tensions are exacerbating pre-weekend caution.”
Russia’s ruble-based MOEX benchmark was down 0.9% at 1,938.0 points. The dollar-denominated RTS index rose 0.3% to 971.4 points.
For the guide to Russian stocks, see
For Russian Treasuries, see (Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Edited by Robert Birsel and Alex Richardson)