The Russian national currency, the ruble, has strengthened against the euro and US dollar on Monday, reaching its highest level against the European single currency since April 8, trading data from the Moscow Exchange shows.
The rally comes despite the easing of capital control measures by the Russian central bank, which on Monday lifted a ban that had been in place since late February on individuals buying foreign currency for rubles.
As of 11:35 GMT, the Russian currency had jumped 4.14% to 81.81 rubles against the euro and gained 1.12% against the greenback to trade at 79.1 to the dollar.
“Due to the measures taken by the [Bank of Russia], the ruble is hardly reacting to external pressure. The high price of oil, as well as tax payments by exporters until the end of April, support the exchange rate of the Russian ruble,” Maxim Timoshenko, head of the Financial Markets Operations Department at Russian Standard Bank, said.
Another expert, Bogdan Zvarich, chief analyst at the Banki.ru financial platform, said that the main factor supporting the Russian currency “may be an increase in demand for ruble liquidity from exporters in anticipation of tax payments.”
The ruble has been gradually strengthening against major currencies since early April, when Russia announced a new ruble-based mechanism for gas export payments. Prior to that, the Russian currency had dropped to historic lows amid sanctions placed on Moscow in response to its military operation in Ukraine. In early March, the ruble plunged to as low as 150 to the dollar but has since nearly doubled in value.
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